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Clark Hunt says he supports extending the NFL schedule to 17 games

The Chiefs owner had some interesting ideas about how the NFL season could be extended

Kansas City Chiefs v Detroit Lions Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Speaking with the media on Wednesday, Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt was asked questions on a variety of topics.

But one of them addressed a controversial issue that is currently in the forefront of the negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA over the next collective bargaining agreement set to go into effect in the 2021 season: whether the NFL season should be extended.

Owners want more regular-season games. That would increase television revenue — not to mention the revenue they get in their stadiums on game days. But the players union has been resisting an increase to the season’s length, arguing that it makes injuries to players more likely.

“It’s something that we have discussed for probably 10 years, going back to the CBA negotiations in 2011, and it is part of the discussions in this current round of CBA talks,” said Hunt. “I do think that it is something that the league needs to seriously consider.”

Hunt said he supports extending the season — but also said he supports reducing the number of preseason games.

“I think reducing the preseason is something that everybody would be in favor of — replacing a game, perhaps two, with one regular-season game.”

Hunt’s idea might be something the NFLPA might be able to accept — since it could actually reduce the total number of games in which players would have to suit up. But it creates another problem, too: an odd number of regular-season games. Hunt had a solution for that, too.

“If you did that, you would have an odd number of games with 17. One thought is that you could play at least some of those games in a neutral site. Obviously, internationally is one place that we could do it. It would give the league more inventory to play more international games.”

Hunt is well-known for his support of the NFL’s International Series, so it’s hardly surprising that his thinking about a longer season might include it. And while many fans dislike it when their teams play outside of the United States, one of their main objections is that one of the teams has to give up a home game — as the Los Angeles Chargers will do when they play the Chiefs on Monday night, and as the Chiefs did when they played the Detroit Lions in London during the 2015 season.

What if neither team had to give up a home game?

What if each team played only two or three preseason games, and a 17th regular-season game at a neutral site — some in places like London or Mexico City, but some in places like Hawaii. And maybe some in NFL cities that never get an opportunity for a Super Bowl — including Arrowhead — featuring non-division opponents that aren’t too far from home. Say... the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos at Arrowhead during the Chiefs’ bye week? The Las Vegas Raiders against the Los Angeles Rams at Mile High? The Chiefs and the Saints in Nashville?

Hunt might be on to something here. What do you think?


Do you like Clark Hunt’s thinking about a potential expansion of the NFL season?

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