The NFL Players Association and the team owners agreed to add a 17th regular-season game as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed earlier this year.
Additional revenue is the only reason for the extra game, especially after COVID-19 decimated team revenues.
If the franchises don’t recuperate their losses, the salary cap might dip, giving them a hard time re-signing players.
Unfortunately, the repercussions outweigh the benefits of having a 17th game.
The NFL would be better off reverting to a 16-game season because of these reasons.
3. Imbalanced Schedule
The 16-game NFL regular season works perfectly because each team gets eight home and eight away games.
That’s not the case anymore with having the 17th game because some teams will have nine home or nine away games.
These games might provide a huge advantage for one team, especially if they are still in playoff contention.
Great home teams who get an additional game may have better chances of making the postseason.
Do you agree with Tom Brady's take on the NFL expanding to 17 total games? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/f8ZBQEhhW8
— Buccaneers Nation (@BucsNationCP) November 9, 2021
Furthermore, adding another game decreases the emphasis on winning the division.
Sweeping non-division games will give a team 11 wins which might be enough to clinch a playoff berth.
The longer season will also motivate teams to rest starters once they have their postseason spot locked.
When that happens, fan attendance might dwindle because the top players won’t suit up for action.
2. Putting An Asterisk On Records
While those feats are tremendous, they come with the caveat of having an additional game.
Barring any injury, it would be easier for a quarterback to reach 5,000 passing yards or for a running back to join the 2,000-yard club.
Cooper Kupp is a CHEAT CODE. pic.twitter.com/r9p2Y82RmI
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 31, 2021
If Derrick Henry did not suffer that season-ending foot injury, he could be the first player in NFL history to have multiple 2,000-yard seasons.
However, some people will always question the feat because of the extra game.
Likewise, the 17th game will see an increase of team restructuring contract incentives with their players.
They might increase the number of receptions a wide receiver must get to earn additional money because of the extra game.
1. Counterproductive For Player Safety
NFL players put their bodies on the line in one of the most violent sports in the world.
One brutal hit can end a season or, worse, a career.
The league introduced measures to keep players safe, like concussion protocols and the banning of helmet-to-helmet contact.
But adding another game to an already grueling season does not protect their welfare.
Both parties agreed to take out a preseason game to accommodate the 17th game.
New season, 17 games.pic.twitter.com/Gd7O4Am2Ob
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 10, 2021
That swap does not make sense because players see limited action or skip preseason games.
Therefore, the NFL added a meaningful week wherein they compete and possibly incur an injury.
An additional week also means that there will be an extra week for practice which can also take a physical toll on their bodies.
Sadly, the players agreed to this additional game even if it puts more risk to their careers.
They must deal with the consequence of suffering from a gruesome injury as the season winds down.