Although the owners had never formally proposed anything along those lines, NFLPA representative DeMaurice Smith said just a little while ago that an 18-game schedule is not something that the players would agree to in CBA negotiations.
"First of all, the league has never presented a formal proposal for 18 games," he told SI.com. "But 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."
Well, if the league had never actually presented anything like this, then why would Smith make a statement like this now?
One also has to wonder if this will become a sticking point in negotiations down the track. The owners and the players, for all of our optimism, don't seem to be that much closer to a deal, and we're less than two days away from the deadline imposed by both sides to get a deal done. The official "drop dead" time is 4 PM Central time on Friday.