Roger Goodell mulls 18-game slate, Presidents Day weekend Super Bowl


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is mulling a future with 18 regular-season games, a Presidents Day weekend Super Bowl and a significant increase in international games.

Goodell, during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Friday, shared his long-term vision, one that involves numerous changes to the season’s current format.

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Specifically, Goodell said he would embrace a schedule featuring 18 regular-season games and two preseason contests, a significant shift from the current 17 regular-season and three preseason games that was implemented in 2021.

“I think we’re good at 17 now,” Goodell said. “But, listen, we’re looking at how we continue. I’m not a fan of the preseason.” Then, gesturing toward a group of fans assembled nearby, Goodell said, “And I don’t think these guys like it either.” He continued: “The reality is, I’d rather replace a preseason game with a regular-season game any day. That’s just picking quality. If we get to 18 and 2, that’s not an unreasonable thing.”

Adding an additional regular-season game could, theoretically, result in a second bye week being added, which would lengthen the regular season. But Goodell would welcome that, he said, as he envisions a Presidents Day weekend built around the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

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“And then you have Monday off,” Goodell said.

No steps toward any of the potential changes have been taken thus far. And it’s important to note that changes to the length of the season would need to be collectively bargained with the NFL Players Association, as it was when the most recent labor deal was negotiated.

The move toward 17 games initially faced significant opposition from players, even after owners approved the deal. Prominent players such as New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers pushed back publicly. The CBA ultimately passed with a slim majority in player balloting, 51.5% voting in favor.

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Goodell also spoke about a future increase to the number of games played internationally, saying he envisions as many as 16 regular-season games being played abroad, perhaps, within the next 10 years. The NFL is adding additional international markets, including Brazil this year and Spain next year.

As for whether a team or division will ever be based overseas, Goodell seemed less certain.

“Will a franchise ever happen or a division?” he said. “Maybe. I think that’s beyond 10 years though.”

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