The NFL completed its first 17-game, 18-week regular season in 2021, and it was a relative success. We saw a few records broken, Cooper Kupp secured the NFL receiving triple crown for the first time since 2005 and the extra game seemed to mesh well with playoff expansion. However, not everyone was happy with it.
When the new collective bargaining agreement was passed and the league received the option to expand the regular season, most NFL stars were not happy. Leonard Fournette, Richard Sherman, Emmanuel Sanders, Alvin Kamara, Adrian Amos, Darius Slay and David Johnson among others publicly voiced their displeasure, and it’s fair to assume they still feel the same way even after the 2021 season.
In the most recent episode of Kevin Hart’s “Cold As Balls” show, San Francisco 49ers star tight end George Kittle said that the NFL should adopt an extra bye week to combat the rigors players face with an additional regular-season game.
“There’s a huge physical toll,” Kittle said, via NBC Sports. “And like, 17 games is a lot. It’s a lot of games, with one bye, whether it’s Week 4 or the bye is Week 11. I’m advocating for two byes.”
“But the physical toll you feel it week in and week out.”
Hart and Kittle then discussed how much money NFL players put into their bodies when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. The tight end was asked for a “ballpark” estimate of how much he spends on his body yearly.
“Couple hundred thousand,” Kittle said. “Couple hundred.”
Adding another bye week could save all NFL players some dollars and cents when it comes to their bodies, and there could be some positive ramifications for the league as well. This will likely be an issue players continue to push as we march further into this new era of 17 games.