Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison is on the record as an opponent of the proposed 18-game regular season schedule, as is former Chicago Bears’ head coach (and Dallas Cowboys’ tight end) Mike Ditka, who ranted over the proposal recently; now, Cowboys’ cornerback Terence Newman is speaking out against the idea.
The possibility of an 18-game schedule is thought by many to be a point of contention in the current negotiations between owners and the NFL Players’ Association. Where each side falls in the debate is easy enough to deduce; the owners (for the most part) believe that an 18-game regular season would benefit the league, while players (for the most part) believe the idea was spawned of nothing more than greed.
Further, many players--including Harrison, and now, Newman--have expressed some concern over the long term ramifications of an extended season for players, who already deal with a good many health problems after their careers draw to a close.
“I don’t want to play an 18-game schedule. Nobody does,” Newman said, per the Dallas Morning News. “But, regardless, there will be a deal. The thing is people are concerned about our health. It’s a dangerous sport; people end up having their careers taken, having their lives taken and being paralyzed, so for two games where guys don’t get paid, it’s not worth it.”
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