Change might finally be coming to preseason football. At Hall-of-Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s 33rd annual golf tournament, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated his previous stance that it would be prudent for the league to reduce the preseason schedule from four games to two games.
According to Josh Reed of WIVB, Goodell said on Monday that his increasing confidence in his belief that the preseason should be shortened comes after conversations with coaches across the league. Though the preseason is used by teams as a means of evaluating players across the roster, Goodell says coaches told him two exhibition games would suffice for the type of thorough evaluation process needed to make depth chart and overall roster decisions. Goodell also said that the league wants to give fans “great value,” and he’s ever unsure that a four-game preseason slate accomplishes that goal.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that the NFL may seek an 18-game regular season schedule or expanded playoff field in upcoming labor talks with the NFL Players’ Association. In return, some league owners are reportedly willing to offer concessions to the players’ union on cannabis policy and the commissioner’s overall disciplinary authority.
In his comments on cutting down the preseason schedule, Goodell didn’t address the possibility of adding games to the regular season or postseason. Considering the NFL would stand to lose revenue as the result of cutting the preseason in half, though, it goes without saying the league would look for avenues to recoup it if the exhibition schedule is ultimately cut short.