NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said after the NFL league meetings Wednesday that the league is discussing the possibility of expanding the regular season during collective bargaining agreements.
Interestingly, though, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted that Goodell says that it's a 17-game season, as opposed to the more commonly discussed 18-game season, that's being weighed. Under this concept, the NFL season wouldn't begin any earlier, but instead would just run an extra week into February.
The NFL moved to a 16-game regular season slate in 1978. Since 1990, the NFL has operated on a 17-week regular season schedule, where teams play 16 games and have a bye week.
It is worth noting that Goodell is a neutral arbitrator in CBA negotiations. He works for the owners. For as popular as regular season expansion is with owners and some fans, there's no indication that players or the NFLPA has interest in expanding the regular season of such a violent sport.
NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith reacted strongly in July on 106.7 The Fan to a nearly universally panned concept of an 18-game season where players wouldn't be eligible to play for two games per season.
"I know fans love to talk about ideas like this, but I live in a world where we want to decrease injury, we want to decrease exposure, we want to decrease the chances of long-term injury, we want to increase the type of health care that we've got after football is over. I didn't hear any of that baked into an 18-game proposal."
The current NFL CBA expires after the 2020 season.