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Steelers owner on expanding regular season: ‘It depends’

NFL owners kicked around the concept of an expanded regular season earlier this offseason, and one member of the fraternity remains uncertain on how it could be implemented.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II recently weighed in on the NFL’s proposal to expand the regular season to 18 games — which incidentally was summarily rejected with extreme prejudice by the NFLPA — and it sounds like he recognizes the complex logistics involved in implementing a change of such magnitude.

“I think it depends. And it depends a little bit for me on when the games get scheduled,” Rooney told WTAE at training camp this week. “I would not be excited about just adding two more games at the end of the season. I just think that’s kind of playoff time. Like I say, it kind of depends on the way it gets structured, so there’s some work to be done, and obviously a lot of work in terms of network, media schedules, how that all plays out. We’ve got a little way to go yet.”

As noted by Steelers Depot, Rooney has been skeptical at best in recent years over the notion that owners could actually push through an 18-game regular season, especially given the strong opposition by the players’ union to any such expansion.

The proposal of an expanded regular season was seen by many as a negotiating tactic on the NFL’s part as the league negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. While that may be the case, the fact that owners actually presented such a proposal means an expanded regular season was at least somewhat considered.