The NFL is starting to get creative in its continued pursuit for an 18-game schedule.
According to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, one idea being proposed among owners is to limit players to a maximum of 16 regular season games. That would mean, by rule, the Giants and Jets would have to pick at least two games for players like Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold to sit out.
The NFLPA has pushed back against an 18-game schedule, largely because the toll an extra two games would place on the players' bodies would be too much to handle on top of an already grueling 16-game schedule. Giants long snapper and NFLPA vice president Zak DeOssie voiced these concerns back in June.
"We don't need 18 games," DeOssie said. "It's just more opportunity to get hurt. The game is physical enough. It's hard enough."
The league has also made progress in trying to make the game safer in recent years, and two more games would be viewed as a detriment to that.
The owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been vying for an 18-game schedule since the last collective bargaining agreement in 2011. An NFLPA analysis concluded two additional games could add as much as $2.5 billion in annual revenue, per the Wall Street Journal, which would allow the league to expand the salary cap for each team and the players to earn more money.
The average career span, however, would be reduced from 3.3 years to 2.8 years, per the union's analysis. Players are not eligible for post-career benefits until after three years in the league.
The current collective bargaining agreement does not expire until after the 2020 season, but NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith has already warned players of a potential lockout. The two sides have opened up talks already in hopes to reach a deal sooner than later.