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DENVER - NOVEMBER 26: Corey Webster #23 of the New York Giants breaks up a pass in the endzone intended for wide receiver Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 26, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Giants 26-6. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brandon Marshall;Corey Webster
Are you ready for even more football?
The NFL hopes so, as it’s officially considering expanding the season by two games.
Under the proposal being discussed by the league and the player’s union, teams would still play a total of 20 games, the difference being that two pre-season games would be cut and added to the regular season’s 16 games.
However, many players have not yet warmed to the idea of playing a few extra games for two reasons: money and injuries.
According to Murphy, the additional games wouldn’t necessarily translate to extra pay for the guys in the trenches. Any raise would be tied to revenue generated from the additional televised games.
The heightened prospect of additional injury towards the end of a grueling season is also giving some big name stars reason to pause.
"I've taken part in several postseason runs where we have played 20 games," said New England quarterback Tom Brady, in a quote released by the NFL Players Association. "The long-term impact this game has on our bodies is well documented. Look no further than the players that came before we did. Each player today has to play three years in order to earn five years of post-career health care."
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis seconded that sentiment.
“I know our fans may not like preseason games, and I don't like all of them," Lewis said. ”But swapping two preseason games for two end-of-season games -- when players already play hurt -- comes at a huge cost for the player and the team."
Fans frequently moan about the poor quality of exhibition games since few marquee players participate. Those complaints are helping to drive the owners' thinking.
"Part of it is really providing more value to our fans," Murphy said. "The quality of our preseason has really deteriorated over time."