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Packers' Mark Murphy: 18-game season hard to justify

The NFL has tossed around the idea of an 18-game regular season for years, but the concept isn't gaining steam.

Packers president Mark Murphy told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that plans to reduce the preseason by two games and inflate the regular season with two additional contests are, as the newspaper put it, all but dead.

"I think with all the concerns about the health and safety of players, it's hard to justify," Murphy said this week. "To go from 16 to 18 regular-season (games) would be a lot more wear and tear. It would be additional games for your starters."

As for chopping the preseason in half, Murphy said a "couple issues" stand in the way.

"You've got loss of revenue -- you don't have much TV revenue from that, but you do have ticket revenue," Murphy said. "And then the other big issue is being able to really evaluate and develop young players. Taking away those two game opportunities, especially since we have so many fewer practices (in training camp) ... you don't block and tackle (in practice), so the games are really important in terms of evaluating."

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Murphy, who previously has come out against the idea of an 18-game schedule, shared that the NFL has discussed giving teams a bye between the preseason and the start of the regular season. An interesting idea, but none of these scheduling changes will happen without the consent of the NFL Players Association, and that's where it gets tricky.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in favor of a potential 18-game schedule during the last round of collective bargaining agreement talks, but it's a plan that's quickly losing support among his peers.

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