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NFL Makes 17-Game Schedule Official

The worst-kept secret in NFL history became official on Tuesday when the league formally approved a 17-game schedule starting this fall. 

Each AFC team will get an extra home game this year, with each NFC team getting an extra road game. The conferences will trade extra games at home and on the road each season going forward. 

You can view the article for a full list of extra games we'll see in 2021, but some of the more notable contests include:

  • WAS at BUF
  • DAL at NE
  • SEA at PIT
  • ARI at CLE (Kyler Murray vs. Baker Mayfield!)
  • GB at KC

 

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Comments

54 comments, Last at 09 Apr 2021, 10:19am

1 Wooo.

Let the rewriting of all the Football Outsiders code launchers commence.

32 RB's.

It amazes me how long the NFL took to understand the fungible nature of the RB position.  Makes me wonder if Emmitt Smith was lucky or good.

I know Barry Sanders was the most talented RB I ever saw.

49 As a biased Giants fan, I…

In reply to by DIVISION

As a biased Giants fan, I believe he was both. He was lucky to run behind the best OL in the league in the pre-cap era, but he was also one of the best runners out there in a tough era to get yardage on the ground. On a different team, he's probably not the all-time rushing leader, but he's still a HOFer. Yes, the OL opened up a lot of holes for him, but he also earned a ridiculous number of yards after contact; subjectively, it seemed like every run ended with him falling forward and getting an extra 1-2 yards no matter how many defenders wrapped him up. He didn't have the best speed, but he had great vision, absurd acceleration after the cut, and he was an underrated pass catcher.

And I agree Barry was the best I ever watched firsthand. I'm too young to have watched Jim Brown or the double-murderer, but I'd put him at that tier. I'm not certain if Smith belongs there, or the one just below that, but he was damned good. 

3 My ideal 17th game solutions…

My ideal 17th game solutions (the one they choose is not sexy, neither simple):

 

1) Rivalry game, same game every season (example Dallas vs. Houston, Battle of LA, Battle of NY, you can go on...)

2) Use previous year classifications: from 1st AFC (KC) vs. 1st NFC (TB) to 16th AFC (JAX) vs. 16th NFC (ATL).

 

Which conference will host? Let the Pro Bowl decide!

4 I would rather they added…

I would rather they added the extra game in August instead of January.  Gets us to real football a week (or two) sooner.

5 17th game

Well, at least they made it simple. Hopefully, starting in 22 or 23, all of those "extra" home games are the international games--where both teams really feel like the away team.

Another option would be having these extra 16 games in various NFL level stadiums that don't have a regular team--Rose Bowl, Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis, etc. It would be hard to do it in college stadiums unless it was later in December--but can you imagine the NFL played in some of these enormous college stadiums (Michigan, LSU, Ohio St., Alabama, Penn St, Texas, Texas A&M, and Tennessee all play in stadiums that can seat over 100K). I mean, the reason that the NFL is adding a 17th game is b/c of the $$$--play in bigger stadiums so you can sell more tickets and get more $$$!

7 It's super unlikely that the…

In reply to by Joseph

It's super unlikely that the international game count will increase that quickly: you're talking about going from 4 games/year (what it currently is) to 16. 

"can you imagine the NFL played in some of these enormous college stadiums"

I kinda doubt it. I mean, you've got the novelty, but NFL ticket prices are waaaay above student ticket prices. Student tickets at OSU, for instance, are $34. And the draw for college football isn't the same as the NFL - plenty of people travel to the area and don't even attend the game, just because they're there for the nostalgia of college years. It'd be... tough to imagine the NFL drawing in a lot of those places. I'd actually imagine if they did that they'd cover over sections and reduce the seat count - it'd dilute the pricing too much.

Plus, I mean, look at the towns those stadia are in. With the exception of Ohio State and Texas, they're all tiny: the student body's a significant portion of their population. It'd be a hard draw. So, I mean, maybe OSU, St. Louis, Texas? Just not that many options. And really, with the exception of St. Louis (and maybe OSU), the teams are all pretty much smack-dab in one team's home area. Seems like an odd thing to drop a game in Baton Rouge or Penn State with New Orleans/Pittsburgh an hour-ish away.

The international series, long term, is definitely a better option, but I'm not sure it'll ever get to 16 games/year.

14 If you drive from Pittsburgh…

If you drive from Pittsburgh to State College in an hour, I'll be riding with someone else, thanks.  It's a 2 1/2 hour drive without factoring in traffic, which can be brutal on either end.  I know you said "an hour-ish," but more than twice that long is stretching the definition of "ish." 

 

37 Nah, I just meant "day trip"…

Nah, I just meant "day trip" vs "multi day trip" length. Anything 3 hours and under is exactly the same to me, and you avoid traffic by going very early. Although my definition of "Pittsburgh" extends way farther out than most people's, I imagine. The Ohio border's still "Pittsburgh" to me (people regularly commute from there), for instance.

Obviously if a game were held in State College people *there* would be likely to go that might not go to a home game in Pittsburgh, but... who cares, that's a handful of people, it's not *that* far. Instead, there'd be more people who would go to a game in Pittsburgh who won't go to State College since it's too far (again, Pittsburgh's area draw is big).

That's really all I meant: most big colleges aren't *too* far to discourage going to games at the home location, but the reverse isn't true: and the tiny size means you don't gain anything. There are a few exceptions (Ohio State, Texas), but not many.

43 Texas.

People here drive three hours like it's nothing.

The state is so large that most of the larger cities are several hours away from each other.

Living central is key.

 

48 Yeah, that's actually why I…

In reply to by DIVISION

Yeah, that's actually why I'm not even sure Texas would work: I'm not sure it's far enough from Dallas that Jerry Jones wouldn't throw a fit.

I'd say neutral site games in existing NFL stadia are *far* more likely than college stadia.

27 playing at other stadiums

Anecdote/parallel situation: I live in western Iowa. They were supposed to play a couple of games at the stadium where the movie "The Field of Dreams" was shot before COVID changed the baseball schedule. I was planning on taking my sons. Could I support a team there? No. Would I go once a year? Probably.

If any of these markets had the potential to support an NFL team long term, they would have one; several that I mentioned had one recently. Most of these areas have a nearby team that they already support to some degree; they would certainly come for one game per year. (They might already travel to one game each year--I have a co-worker who drives 5 hours each way to go to a Chiefs game each year. I would drive 3+ hrs to MN to see my Saints.) 

Anyway, my general point is that there are multiple avenues to make the 17th game a neutral site game, although with any plan or combination of international/previous NFL/college stadiums will have some advantages for certain teams. However, if they were truly set up to be neutral-ish site games, you give lots of people the opportunity to go to an NFL game without having to buy season tickets, or be on a waiting list for years to get the chance. Seems like there would be 16 NFL-worthy stadiums that would jump at the chance to have one game per year.

38 Of *course* you'd drive to…

Of *course* you'd drive to see your team play, the NFL's crazy popular. But I doubt there are 100k Saints fans willing to put up $300+ in Minnesota.

But more importantly: why would the NFL want to do it? What's in it for them? It's *worse* than the equivalent of two road games for them, since the local area would want buckets of compensation: meaning high ticket prices, giving locals the added value of... going to an area that has its own draws?

They do the international series to increase interest. I could see, say, St. Louis or San Antonio (I'd say "or Columbus" here because of the city size, but it's not like the NFL needs to care about Columbus). Maybe there are other decent-sized cities with stadia I'm not thinking of. But why? You really want to push for the possiblity of expansion? Otherwise you're just diluting a premium product.

I mean, it'd be like randomly putting an out of market unpopular game on TV in an area. People would be like "...okay, I *could* watch Browns-Bengals in Louisiana, but... why?"

53 I think you misunderstand my point

My point is that there are people who will go to an NFL game 1x/yr, but can't afford to otherwise because of money/time/whatever. Secondary point is that if one of the two teams is from that area/region, they probably have lots of fans around who are NOT season ticket holders, but would jump at the chance to go to a game that might be closer to them and/or does not require a season ticket package. If the stadium is at least as large as the home team's venue (that's why I mentioned XL college stadiums/former NFL stadiums), then you can include it in the season ticket package AND still sell several thousand more tickets. 

My other point is this: the NFL is fairly maxed out in the US market for fan base. This 17th game is a way to expand revenues from fans and media that already "support" the NFL economically. Why not see if you can obtain revenues from other people who are fans, but don't spend a lot of money on the the product? Obviously international games are a way to reach "new" fans and/or fans who don't spend money directly on the NFL. Personally, I don't see an easy way to do that a lot without extra bye weeks for travel that extends outside of North America.

Now, we can debate the idea of a 17th "neutral site" game being neutral if one of the teams is from that region (e.g., PIT playing @ PSU, NOR playing @ LSU, CLE @ Ohio St.)--but to me, having a game there every year or other year makes it enough of a novelty that you attract some fans that can't/don't go to games in person. Two teams with no ties to a region playing 1,000 miles from home is not worth it, as you point out.

54 College football stadia are…

College football stadia are large because they don't care about the gate - they care about eyeballs. They had 7 home games in 2018-19, and pulled in $39M in revenue. With a stadium that seats over 100,000. It's funny because people act like CFB cares about money over all else - they don't. The whole thing's a glorified advertisement (it's a bit weird to realize this because average CFB ticket prices don't look that far off from average NFL ticket prices, but it's because of student tickets). 

The Packers, for instance, have 8 home games. They pull in essentially double Penn State's revenue, on a stadium with less than 80% the capacity. And they're one of the largest NFL stadia. Why? Because NFL games are luxury items. You have luxury suites (which account for like, 20%+ of game revenue) and personal seat licenses on top of basic tickets. The stadia are designed to be high-end experiences. College football's... aren't.

"Why not see if you can obtain revenues from other people who are fans, but don't spend a lot of money on the the product?"

Because for all of the teams you mentioned, you'd make more money just having another home game! It's generally assumed international games are money losers for most NFL teams (they won't comment on if it's profitable, which is another way of saying "it isn't"). And international games have more revenue potential because you've got broadcasting rights in a new fanbase. You wouldn't get to sell special broadcasting rights to State College. 

Yeah, the Jaguars make money by having their home games elsewhere, but that's because they're literally the least popular team in the NFL. The Steelers going to Penn State definitely wouldn't make them money. You've got increased logistics costs, you need to split gate with a third entity, and you're effectively asking fans to pay more for a lesser experience. It doesn't make sense.

Oh, and on top of that, you have to schedule the thing around another team's schedule (you can't do it late in the year because those stadia aren't designed for cold weather, see the issues with TCF and the Vikings).

Let me put it a different way: the Browns held an on-field scrimmage at Ohio Stadium in Columbus in 2016. It was free. The stadium wasn't half-full. Novelty isn't that big a draw.

34 Games in other places could be fun

I disagree. There are quite a few large college football stadiums around the country and plenty of obvious games to schedule in those places. Cowboys vs Chefs in Norman. Cowboys vs Texans in Austin. Pitt or Buffalo vs Philly in State College. Chiefs vs Vikings or Bears in Iowa City. Broncos vs Cardinals in Provo. Panthers vs Jags in Columbia, SC. Pats vs Giants in New Haven. These are all over 60K as are at least 25 other college stadiums. These stadiums are each only used about 10 weekends per year; it would be easy to schedule an extra game in these fields and I'm sure many of the schools (and their communities) will like the extra money the games bring. 

36 Why would the Steelers play…

Why would the Steelers play anyone in State College? Who would it bring that's already not able to go to Pittsburgh?

Yes, the stadium's larger, but you're just making most people travel farther to go to a stadium with less amenities. This isn't a win.

College football's a *much* different animal.

39 Better example, actually:…

Better example, actually: imagine if a college football team would hold a bowl game in, like, middle of nowhere Kentucky. People would be like "what." and just watch it on TV That's what this is like. You're asking fans to spend a bunch to travel and offering little to no extra value.

51 College football example?

Virginia Tech and Tennessee played a game at Bristol Speedway a few years ago, on the Virginia/Tennessee line between the two schools. It holds the record for largest crowd ever, at ~157,000 attendees. 

So they did hold a game "in the middle of nowhere" and people did come out. Maybe an Eagles/Steelers game in State College would have a similar effect just for the novelty/fun? I don't think it could be a yearly or regular thing to fill the extra games in the schedule though. 

52 CFB cares about attendance,…

CFB cares about attendance, NFL cares about revenue. The question is whether you could get an equal total gate, not higher attendance. Attendance is the driver for CFB games because games are practically just a perk for alumni donors - you just care about providing a cool experience. (And *bowl game* prices are more in line with NFL prices than regular season). Plus, of course, CFB's regional, NFL's national. Va Tech and Tennessee both care about wringing every drop of fandom in that area because it's their student base. The only NFL games that are advertisements are the international ones.

College football scheduling's weird too: you're not going to get all home out of conference games, and the money you get for away games *sucks*, so a neutral site game's an improvement. Revenue sharing in the NFL is obviously a lot more even.

I mean, CFB's had neutral site games occasionally for years. The NFL only does it internationally, to increase interest. Why would anyone think they'd start doing it now?

6 did anyone want this

I couldn't be less excited for this. It feels like just a reason to push for elite teams to take it easy that last game, heck two games now. As for bad team, it's just one more week of garbage football. It's not like baseball where even bad teams will call up an exciting rookie in September. If you stink in football, you likely just get one more game of stink. Whereas if you're good, you have one more week to get injuries that cripple your Super Bowl run. I'd rather see that funky extra playoff team. It at least added some spice to week 16 and pushed teams to fight for best record. 

8 We've already listed the…

We've already listed the five best games (on paper, at least), but the most significant might be the 49ers against the Bengals.  The AFC South had three playoff teams last season and the NFC West looks tight -- the one NFC West team that doesn't end up playing against the Steelers/Browns/Ravens trifecta will have an advantage, if team strengths are close to what they were a year ago.

9 I'd rather...

...they just expand to 18 games with 2 bye weeks.  Why piecemeal it?

The Arizona/Cleveland game is great, but I hope these match-ups are set organically within the schedule or have them as the first game rather than the last game.

22 Ditto.  This seems so…

In reply to by DIVISION

Ditto.  This seems so obvious to me that there must be financial considerations I don't understand making it a bad move.

29 I found out.

The players don't want 17 games, so under the bargaining agreement for this year, they were willing to concede 17 games but not 18.  This current agreement goes through 2030, so unless they renegotiate, it will be 17 games for the next decade.

It's a strange number of games...

40 Agree with all you've said…

In reply to by DIVISION

Agree with all you've said. 18 games + 2 bye weeks makes a lot more sense structurally (minus 2 of the existing pre-season weeks). But, as you suggested, playing extra games is a significant concession by the players, and one of the few real bargaining chips they bring to the table. Best not to spend them all at once, I guess. 

As somebody mentioned above, I'd prefer the additional game was played in August rather than January; playoff football is one of the few things to look forward to in the post Christmas/New Year period - I'd rather it remained unchanged. 

44 Where the rubber hits the road.

If I was an NFL player, I'd be lobbying for an extra bye week if they wanted to expand to 17 or 18 games.

Apparently, the NFLPA doesn't hold much sway because they lost that battle.  I have an impression that many NFL players aren't financially sound and any extended lockout would be untenable.  That is the ultimate Trump card for the owners.  The ability to shutdown the NFL if they feel the players are garnering too much control.

I know this is off-topic, but it's also my impression that the Texans knew about Watson's "massage problem" long ago and were covering for him until he decided to turn against them by demanding a trade.  To think that NFL teams don't have these type of issues come up all the time without having ways to suppress stories, pay off people with NDA's and the like is naive.  The Watson story for me is one about leverage and power.  Watson lost, clearly.

 

 

10 They should have done a 16…

They should have done a 16 game season with two bye weeks if they were intent on desecrating the season.  But of course they pick an even worse idea.  (And yes, I know why -- they want the extra gate as well as the extra TV money.)

12 I've never understood why…

I've never understood why the NFL has resisted the two bye schedule. yes it's not exactly like adding an extra week on the season because the number of games remains fixed, but the TV viewership certainly does not.

it also makes sense from a player health standpoint and a fairness standpoint to balance out the buys for different teams at different times of the year.

I seriously have no idea what the counter argument is to doing this.

Along with hating the additional week, I absolutely hate the additional playoff appearance. A team like Chicago making the playoffs is not some outlier but probably the norm. Not even the Chicago bears fans wanted to see them in the playoffs

 

16 A year ago I put together a…

A year ago I put together a 16 game NFL season plan with THREE bye weeks that worked well for teams and gave TV two more weekends of regular season football.  (OK, the first bye weekend was Labor Day (week 2) with only four teams playing a Monday night double header.) 

The other good thing was that I could schedule all Thursday night teams after a bye.

It even gave a late September Thursday night exclusively to college football to make up for the late August NFL start.

19 Sometimes I feel like I'm…

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who remembers when the NFL tried two bye weeks in the 1993 season and everyone hated it. Most weekends you'd have only 10 or 12 games. Some weeks there was no Sunday night game because therejust weren't enough games to go around to all the networks. Players liked that first bye week, but on the second one most of them were bored and wanted to play. 

Here's something Peter King wrote about it in December of that year:

The double byes are a double disaster. A second bye week was added this season in order to stretch the network TV schedule to 18 weeks. The bonehead result was that there were as few as 10 games per weekend through the first two months of the season, not 14. Fewer games, fewer chances for good games, obviously. Another by-product of the double bye: With so much time off between games, teams fall out of sync. "We beat Minnesota, and we were ready to roll," says 49er quarterback Young. "Then we had to pick our noses for two weeks before playing Dallas." The result: Dallas 26, San Francisco 17. The 49ers are 1-3 after bye weeks over the last three years, 30-8 without a week off.

https://vault.si.com/vault/1993/12/06/rx-for-the-nfl-pro-football-might-still-be-americas-favorite-game-but-with-fewer-stars-too-many-injuries-and-not-enough-offense-the-nfl-has-to-start-curing-what-ails-it

24 There were 28 teams in 93…

There were 28 teams in 93. The extra 2 games with 32 teams plus way more viewing options than cable and over the air basically solves the King whine about not enough good games. Also we have 17 games now, and must of the talk of double byes is for 18 games which we all know are coming.

Players understand the value of rest better now with all the science that points to it, and all their personal experience using the data to train. So the weird Steve young quote is solved. Many of them talk about how they like the extra time after a Thursday game, even if they hate the short week leading up to Thursday. Also didn't this site do articles about streaks and momentum not being things?

Also what the hell was wrong with Seifert as a coach. I thought most teams had winning records coming off the bye. 1-3 after bye weeks seems anomalous but I haven't looked at the data.

As much as I hate to say it, because there were several important milestones in my life in 93, it was more than a quarter century ago. Things have changed. Sure the bye weeks now can create some lackluster weekends and single team fans my grumble a bit about another week without X. But with the 17th and possibly 18th game that all changes too.

The extra game(s) is going to create even more lackluster games and higher potential for weeks with a bad balance of good and crap games. The unbalanced home/away of the odd number of games is going to create more of those blah teams with weak schedules and 11-6 or 10-7 records that really aren't better than the 9-8 or 8-9 teams with tough schedules. But now since double digit wins still feels way better casual fans will be even more confused. We'll get even more homer posts on the FO threads and even more why the hell is my 11 win team ranked lower than this 9 win team. The anarchy is coming!

Ok so I got a bit tongue in cheek at the end. The extra teams and extra games makes an extra bye week more appealing is really I'll I'm saying.

Now if we can lobby to make IR work like it did under the COVID rules all the time I'll be happier. A mechanism to keep a full roster while letting players heal for 3-X weeks, yes please. Sure it devalues the health as a skill some, but it makes a better on field product when you can have useful players available when some one is injured enough to not play, but not bad enough to give up 8 weeks of them. Never liked the IR system. I know some of it was too cut down on cap games and player stashing, but there are better ways to solve that and since of them have already been implemented.

26 Double Byes

"Then we had to pick our noses for two weeks before playing Dallas." The result: Dallas 26, San Francisco 17.

Losing at Dallas in the middle of the Cowboys' back-to-back Super Bowl wins was probably not the fault of the bye, and Steve Young's flu that benched him early in the 1992 loss at the Cardinals probably wasn't either.  I'm not sure what to blame for the loss to the 2 Legit 2 Quit Falcons.

20 Oh, if you want a really fun…

Oh, if you want a really fun thought: the 2020 Bears finished 15th in DVOA (Weighted and non), and essentially 14th in the actual standings. It's almost certain that far, far worse teams will regularly make that last slot going forward (Cleveland was actually worse by DVOA, just among 2020 Wild Card teams). Especially with another game for the best teams to tank once they've got their division titles sewn up.

The NFL is coming off a year in which ratings were down (whatever the reason, it's true), and anecdotally I haven't encountered anyone who's really excited for more regular season games. And they've watered down the playoffs, too. I think there's a real worry that they're starting to strangle the golden goose here.

30 The reason.

The NFL wants to maximize revenue but they don't want two down weeks during the season, regardless of how much sense it makes for productivity of players and player health.

Down weeks means less games per week which also means less revenue (both gate and television ratings).

It's simply a financial decision for them and the players are secondary considerations.  They're considered employees.

 

42 ??

In reply to by DIVISION

“They're considered employees.”

they are employees.

45 Right.

In reply to by Raiderfan

I'm making the point that they're only employees and have no financial stake in the operation (like the owners).

11 So 18th game in 2023?

After they do the one extra road game for both conferences the players will cave to 18 games with 9 and 9. Not sure what the language in the CBA is, but I can't see this lasting 17 game deal lasting and the league will never drop games. I know the plan is supposedly 8 years which is less than the new media contract, it's also less than the current CBA isn't it? I still just don't see this lasting even if it's supposedly an 8 year plan right now.

18 games with 2 bye weeks seems to be not completely stupid and the extra bye week plus some kinda of change to IR would help sell the players, especially if they drop to 2 or 3 preseason games. I wouldn't mind them just doing IR like they did in 2020 going forward it's always been too restrictive in my opinion. But I suppose the way the media contracts are written they won't get more money by extending the season to 20 weeks with the current contracts. So that probably means we are stuck with this until shortly before they negotiate new media contracts.

As mentioned from what I'm reading is that this will go on for 8 years, and that every team will play at least one international game in that time. That includes the Packers who have fought that tooth and nail against playing an international game because of how big an impact each home game has on the economics of the leagues smallest market. That likely means they will continue to fight for their international game to be in a year they are a "road" team for it.

London has has already done 4 games a year and could do more. Mexico City was on the docket but knocked out by COVID. Germany was basically only ruled out because of the issues with taking home games away from teams so this clears that up. But Kraft has been fighting for one for awhile. China has been discussed several times (I'm sure the NFL would love to try and build fan bases in China and India even at 25% the popularity of the US they'd still have more potential fans). Brazil was tossed around. Canada, like Mexico City would almost be a cheater option. It's a lot of logistics, sure, but the extra game clears some of those big hurdles. That's really the only interesting part of this to me, the potential international games, and that's not from a football standpoint, more just a marketing logistics standpoint.

18 If i was nfl i wpidl say to…

If i was nfl i wpidl say to Packers , "are you drunk? Why do you think you dont havr to go London or Sweden? These othet teams have to go there. Some even go to Mexico. You will go to one og thrse places to in matter of fairness. So shut your green and yellow pie hole and do what you're told."

23 I don't disagree, but so far…

I don't disagree, but so far they haven't. GB is they only team that hasn't played an international game and they have actively fought against it. I've been very surprised the NFL has let them get away with it.

31 Those baby Packers!

The Packers are like that spoiled child in the family.  They're coddled and always get their way.  Even worse if they whine.  The NFL is coddling them as long as they can before they are forced in to an international showcase...

 

25 The Packers can make the…

The Packers can make the case that their home games are more important to the local economy than any other team, so they don't want to give up a home game to play internationally. Packers management has been adamant about not giving up a home game for that reason.

Their opponents typically make the case that the Packers are one of their biggest gate draws of the year, so they don't want to give up that local payday. It's not that the Packers have insisted that they won't play away games internationally so much as the teams they're playing don't want to give up that particular home game.

13 It wasn't broken and didn't need fixing

A week 17 clash between the 13-3 Chiefs and the 11-5 Cowboys looks real nice on paper but if both teams are locked in it basically becomes a meaningless January exhibition game. And who's clamoring for a week 17 pigfest between the 4-12 Jets and the 5-11 Falcons? Even non-degenerate gamblers will be wary of throwing good money at these games.

I'm old enough to remember when they first went to 16 games. It seemed so radical at the time. Then when bye weeks were first introduced, ditto. I assume the players are going to totally despise this, as well they should.

41 This. The real win for the…

This. The real win for the owners is having a deal tied in for 10 years. Getting the best possible deal for 5-10 years time is irrelevant to many players have no concerns beyond making a roster and getting paid next season. They'll sign up to whatever gets the show on the road with least possible fuss.  

46 However...

The current agreement barely passed, which is isn't all the surprising and shows just how much push back there was from the players.

Unfortunately, most can't afford a lockout.

28 I hate this so much

A better solution, for all kinds of reasons, would have been to add bye weeks. It extends the season, adding more weeks of TV revenue, without piling even more wear and tear on these players.

Hell, I think a better idea would be a 19-week season with 3 bye weeks for every team. It would help so much with injury recovery, the concussion protocol, scheduling Thursday games, games overseas, and you could even give rivalry games two weeks for the teams to prepare.

There has been concern expressed about this idea that it would dilute the TV offerings some weeks. And in theory it would, but in actual practice, a random Thursday night NFL game between two small market also-rans actually gets better ratings than an NBA playoff  or World Series game! So what's the concern?

The least they could have done was limit every player's eligibility to 16 games, and then expand the practice squad and allow one free game of eligibility before returning to it, which could have the added benefit of imoroved player development. 

But no, every detail of this plan stinks.

 

35 Remember, at the end of the…

Remember, at the end of the season, every player in the NFL is injured somewhere. 2 byes doesn't work right now because there won't be enough games to go around.

Add 2 teams to each conference, and you get more games, more players get paid, more income, everyone wins.

They could add one team in the USA, 2 in Canada and one in Mexico.

Then you have more games, so you can add another bye, lowering (I think?) the chances of injuries and extending player careers because they have another week to heal little pains.

47 Financially.

Not sure how many cities can support an NFL team.

Remember, St. Louis lost both the Cards and Rams.  Oakland and L.A. lost the Raiders.  

Albuquerque?  Salt Lake City?

Mexico city is a given.

For Canada, Toronto and Montreal?