Could the NFL cut the preseason schedule in half? Commissioner Roger Goodell made it sound like a possibility on Thursday.
Speaking at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit, Goodell said the preseason could be altered to include just two games for each team. The NFL would then go with a 16- or 18-game regular season.
"The four preseason games are an issue for us," Goodell said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "One, you have a question whether we really need it to put on the best quality product. Two, you have an issue of how our fans are reacting to it, and they're not reacting positively. It's not the kind of standard that the NFL is used to producing."
Preseason games have never come close to matching the entertainment value of the regular season, but scrunity has increased this summer. The fourth game -- with its absence of stars and any sense of competition -- is particularly maligned, especially since season-ticket holders are forced to pay full price for a game the majority have no interest in attending.
Goodell said the NFL had the right to change the schedule "unilaterally" under the terms of the previous collective bargaining agreement, but decided to make it a collaborative decision.
"We didn't do that because we want to be thoughtful, smart and make sure our players are part of the decision," he said.
You won't find many people who say they enjoy the preseason from an entertainment standpoint, but it's hard to imagine the NFLPA getting behind a move that will provide fringe players less opportunity to prove themselves.
As for an 18-game regular season? Don't hold your breath.