Colts President Bill Polian Says 18-Game NFL Season a Done Deal
According to Polian on his weekly radio show, the 18-game schedule is a fait accompli. Then Polian went out of his way to make it clear that he's not necessarily thrilled with the idea of a shorter preseason and a longer regular season.
"I think that the owners, and principally the commissioner, have decided that it's the way to go, and so the debate, such as it was, is over," Polian said.
Now the owners may have decided that 18 games is the way to go (with the resulting revenue bump in TV revenues that are expected to come with it), but there is one rather large obstacle to more real football, less fake preseason football. To make the change, the NFL owners will have to get the players to agree to the extension. It's possible that the players will agree, but considering the difficulty the two sides are having in agreeing to anything, telling them that they will have two more weeks to suffer a debilitating injury may not be an easy sell.
Polian also talked about another possible drawback of a longer season (beyond the possible debilitating injuries). With only two preseason games, teams would have significantly less chances to evaluate their players against other teams. Polian thought that teams would have to schedule more scrimmages against other teams to make up for the lost evaluation time.
The NFL is not giving any kind of response to Polian's comments.