The NFL and their owners have always been pushing for an 18-game schedule.
The owners have proposed a new plan that they hope the players will go for: an 18-game schedule but with a 16-game limit per player. An analysis done by the NFL Players Association found that up to $2.5 billion in additional annual revenue could be generated with two more games. The NFLPA believes that increase would add another $15 million to the salary cap limit for each team in the first year.
Such a proposal would mean the New England Patriots would face an 18-game season in which they were guaranteed to play two games without quarterback Tom Brady or All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore - or kicker Stephen Gostkowski for that matter.
The Wall Street Journal reports there are 4,000 injuries in the league per year, and the union estimates adding more games could bring down the average NFL career span from 3.3 years to 2.8.
For the same reasons that an 18-game season would make both sides more money, the players say it would also undercut several points they're focused on addressing in this round of bargaining. That dip is important because players become eligible for post-career benefits like health insurance and pensions after three years. The idea has already received quite a bit of skepticism from the NFLPA with president Eric Winston scoffing at the notion. The current agreement came after a 132-day lockout in 2011.