It's not a new concept, the idea of shortening the preseason. Where once teams played six preseason games, key players -- in large part protecting them from injury before games that count -- don't even play a bulk of the preseason. So the fact commissioner Roger Goodell suggested again Monday that preseason games don't measure up to NFL quality enough of the time and that four preseason games aren't needed to evaluate the roster doesn't come as a major surprise.
These are the topics as well that are going to come up now, as the NFL and NFL Players Association near the end of the current collective bargaining agreement, which ends after the 2020 season. The total of 20 games NFL teams play -- four preseason, 16 regular season, before the playoffs -- isn't going to change, you wouldn't think. But might the league try and get the players to make it a 3-17 breakdown, or 2-18? Potentially.
Now, do the football decision-makers from each team prefer the extra game time to sort out the rosters? Most do. It gets brought up every training camp, usually as a pump-the-brakes comment when it comes to a camp practice phenom or rookie, that some players do well in practice but not necessarily in the bright lights of a real game. Or vice versa. Certainly, fewer preseason games makes that more difficult to sort through. But regardless, teams and decision-makers would adapt if there were any changes. They always do. And maybe there won't be any changes. It's not like this hasn't come up before, and the NFL has remained a 4-16 split.