Tom Brady thinks it was a “terrible decision” to extend the NFL regular season to 17 games.
During his “Let’s Go” podcast that was posted Tuesday morning, Brady explained his resentment for the expanded schedule and criticized how team owners have the majority of control over the extension.
“I think it’s pointless,” Brady said on his podcast of the additional regular-season game. “I thought it was a terrible decision. So I don’t like the fact that we’re playing a 17th game at all. I think 16 is plenty. And, again, you’re eight games into the year and you’re not halfway through, so that’s kind of a little frustrating aspect. So whatever, I mean, we’ll play it. It’s there, you know, a lot of guys probably miss games over the course of the season anyway, so they probably don’t play all 16, most guys.”
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The 17-game regular-season marks the league’s first schedule expansion since 1978. The option to expand the regular season was originally built into the CBA, but wasn’t exercised until the league signed a new media contract. NFL voters approved and finalized the change in March to add a preseason game and another regular-season game to the 2021-22 schedule.
As Brady mentioned NFL owners during the podcast, the focus quickly shifted. He then criticized the relationship between the players, the union, and NFL owners.
“The owners haven’t had to listen to the players,” Brady said. “Because usually what the owners want, the owners get. So, you know, that’s just the way the business has gone. And we need strong union leadership from the player standpoint and a unified union in order to have the right amount of leverage to negotiate what we think is appropriate for an NFL player. But right now it’s more like we get told what to do and, yeah, there’s a vote and a CBA, but the choice is: Don’t play or play under these circumstances. And we’ve essentially agreed to play under their circumstances.”
He also pointed out that while it may be difficult to agree on a decision, he believes that coaches and players aren’t properly represented. Brady advocates for the creation of committees and further negotiations to reach an effective compromise that benefits players and owners.
“It’s much easier to get 32 owners to agree who have all the information and they do regular quarterly meetings and they meet and they’re all interested in growing the game,” Brady said. “Which, look, the players want to grow the game as well but we want to grow it in a way that’s, again, that’s right for the players as well. So there’s not a lot of thought that goes into that and I don’t think the coaches are represented as well, either. I think there can be a much more constructive way of doing the right thing by all parties, if there were the right committees and right amounts of negotiation and, you know, I think it would actually make for a much better game.”
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Although he expressed his detest for the league’s expansion, Brady continues to shine throughout his 21st season in the NFL. Despite taking a 36-27 loss to the Saints on Sunday, Brady threw 28 completed passes for 375 yards with four touchdowns. The 44-year-old quarterback was also sacked three times by the New Orleans defense and threw two interceptions. He is expected to start on Sunday for the Buccaneers’ Week 10 matchup against the Washington Football Team.