The NFL has been beating this drum for some time, but the drum beats have grown louder to lengthen the regular season and shorten the preseason by two games.
And then there's this tidbit, from Chris Russell quoting a league source, on how NFL executives value regular season games over the preseason.
"He says preseason is overrated," he said. "You guys are wasting your time. Practice and prep is what it's all about, keeping guys healthy, seeing young players and getting backups ready to play.
If this is how the majority of NFL execs really feel about preseason games, the logical follow-up question is why do they keep wasting our time with preseason?
The answer begets the longest-running battle between the league and the NFLPA outside of profit splits, why we've been stuck with this useless four-game appetizer for years.
Each club wants the haul from the two extra home games per year, hence the two-on-the-road, two-at-home format of the preseason. They also want to extend the regular season, because meaningful games draw more fans. This is why the NFL only deals in even numbers: so no team suffers greater sacrifice than the next.
But players don't want to concede two extra regular-season games, and the added injury risk that goes with it, for free. And yet, with each year, the sample size of how garbage preseason is only grows. The NFL and its players are cratering towards an impasse that likely won't get settled without a work stoppage.
Expect to see an 18-game season by 2020.