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Goodell: We’re moving ahead with plans for 18-game season

08.25.10 at 6:26 pm ET
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the league is going to propose an 18-game regular season schedule to the players’€™ union as part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Speaking at a press conference at an owner’€™s meeting in Atlanta, Goodell said the support for what backers are calling an enhanced season was ‘€œoverwhelming.’€

‘€œWe think we’€™ve moved this concept along,’€ Goodell told reporters at a news conference following the one-day owners’€™ meeting, who said the league is hoping to introduce the 18-game season in 2012. ‘€œThere’€™s a tremendous amount of momentum for it. We think it’€™s the right step to take. But we want to do that with our partners, including the players.’€

Goodell said owners see two more regular-season games ‘€” and two fewer preseason games ‘€” as a way to enhance revenues. But while owners appear solidly behind the plan, several players have already questioned the idea of an 18-game regular season, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who questioned the long-term health issues for players that would be raised by more football.

‘€œI’€™ve taken part in several postseason runs where we have played 20 games,’€ Brady said in a statement issued in June by the National Football League Players Association. ‘€œThe 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. Our Union has done a great job of raising the awareness on these issues and will make the right decision for us players, the game and the fans.’€

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