In addition to a number of other key issues, one of the biggest debates between the NFL and NFLPA has been how long the regular season should be. Owners want to extend the season to 18 games for obvious reasons (more regular season games equals more revenue), and the players don't want any part of it considering there are already so many injuries with a 16-game season. This issue will have to be resolved before a new collective bargaining agreement is agreed to, but there doesn't seem to be a good solution that appeases both sides right now.
As with most players, Detroit Lions quarterback Shaun Hill is squarely against the prospect of an 18-game season. Considering he dealt with multiple injuries last season, he knows how difficult it is to make it through a 16-game schedule. Adding two more games, in his opinion, would lead to even more injuries and in turn hurt the NFL in the long run.
"I'm heavily against it," Hill said last month. "You see the IR numbers this year were off the charts. It might have been a record year for number of players on injured reserve.
"At a certain point it kind of starts hurting the level of play. It hurts career longevity, all those things. They always want to talk about player safety. But then again they want to put 18 games in the regular season, and that's not really taking players' safety into consideration at all. But we'll see what happens with all of that. If they say play 18, I'll certainly play 18, though. We're hoping it doesn't come to that."
I'm with the players on this one. 16 games is plenty for the regular season. To extend it to 18 games would make injuries more likely, and not even taking player safety into account, I just think the season would drag on too long by game No. 18. Right now the NFL has a good scheduling system, and I think they would be doing a disservice to both the players and the fans if they extend the regular season. (I know many think more football is a good thing, but like Hill said, if the level of play drops because so many guys get hurt, it will hurt the game more than anything.)