McCown On 17-Game Schedule: "I Just Don't See It Happening"

Without "steep concessions from ownership," Luke McCown does not think players will be on board with an extra regular-season game

Zach Gelb
February 20, 2020 - 11:18 am
Clark Hunt Chiefs

USA Today Images


The NFL would reportedly like to implement a 17-game regular season in the next collective bargaining agreement, but former NFL quarterback Luke McCown believes that will be difficult to achieve.

“Of every player that I’ve ever talked to – and I played 13 years on several different teams – it’s not something that the players favor,” McCown said on The Zach Gelb Show. “They’re going to look for every way out of 17 games, I can promise you that. Without some pretty steep concessions from ownership, I just don’t see it happening. I know there’s apparently been some traction and things like that for 17 games from the schedule standpoint. I just don’t see it happening. I don’t see it sticking from the player standpoint. The risk is far too high in terms of injury and long-term affects and so on. And so, I just don’t see it being something the players are going to vote for.”

McCown, 38, was a fourth-round pick in 2004 and spent time with the Browns, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Saints, Falcons and Cowboys. While players wouldn’t like an extra regular-season game, they would welcome fewer preseason games. 

McCown said that dropping a preseason game from the schedule would not negatively impact players’ preparation for the season.

“Not at all,” he said. “Even the guys like myself, being a career backup, even guys like me that valued the reps that I got, I was still looking at 15 to 20 plays in a preseason game as a backup. I was generally out of the game by halftime of every game, and for the most part, played only one series in the fourth game. Even your backups that really thrive on the reps that you could get in a preseason game, were only getting 15 or 20 snaps in a game, maybe 25. So it doesn’t affect their preparation at all. 

“The league has been trending this way for a long time,” McCown continued. “You’re seeing more and more of the key starters like quarterback and wideout and running back – guys that are going to be a staple of your offense – they’ve not been playing but maybe a handful of snaps throughout an entire four-game preseason for years now. So I don’t see it affecting it at all.”