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NFLPA chief: 18-game season is off the table

03.09.11 at 8:52 pm ET
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NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said Wednesday night that the idea of an 18-game regular season is off the table in the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations between players and owners.

Speaking in Washington, D.C. with radio station 106.7 FM ‘€œThe Fan,’€ Smith said for the first time publicly that there’€™s no way the players would agree an expanded season. Smith reiterated those comments shortly afterward in a conversation with SI.com.

‘€œFirst of all, the league has never presented a formal proposal for 18 games,’€ he said. ‘€œBut more importantly, it’€™s something that our players don’€™t want. Eighteen games is not in the best interest of our players’€™ safety, so we’€™re not doing it.’€

The 18-game schedule is thought to be one of the three major sticking points between the two sides, with the other two points being the redistribution of $9 billion in revenue and the rookie wage scale. (However, Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday afternoon that the two sides had agreed on the basic framework of a new rookie salary system.)

The two sides are attempting to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and avoid the first work stoppage in NFL history since 1987. The deadline for a new deal is Friday.

Read More: DeMaurice Smith, lockout,
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