Farrior concedes 18-game sacrifices will be made
Although James Farrior doesn't particularly like the idea of the NFL adding two regular-season games, the veteran linebacker knows that the change is inevitable.
Reacting to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's mass e-mail to five million fans Monday stating that the impending lockout can be avoided if a couple key issues can be resolved, including a restructuring of their current 20-game schedule (four preseason and 16 regular-season games), Farrior wasn't particularly surprised by Goodell's mode of operation.
"Yeah, he was making his pitch to the fans," Farrior said. "You have to make it look like you are not the bad guy. We understand what's going on. We know it is going to be a sticky situation. Hopefully, we will have a season next year, if not, we have to stay strong."
Still, Farrior believes that the players are going to have to sign off on the proposed 18-game regular-season schedule being pushed by the owners and the NFL to get a new collective bargaining agreement in place for next season to exist.
"They want 18 games, and I know it is going to happen one way or the other," Farrior said. "There is nothing we really can do about that. We can fight it all we want to, but it is going to happen."
For the 18-game schedule to be approved, the players would demand an increase in roster size and game day actives with the biggest sticking point being benefits.
"I think our benefits should be a lot better than what they are," Farrior said. "Those guys really don't want to pay for our benefits after we are done. If you look at any job that you go on and you get injured on your job, you have to take care of that. The NFL doesn't seem to want to do that all the time."
Even if the NFL agrees to all the stipulations, it still doesn't mean the players will embrace the 18-game schedule.
"We are never going to be happy with the 18 games," Farrior said. "It is something that we are going to have to learn to live with it."
"I know the intensity is probably going to go up, but at the same time, it is still going to be the same people I played against last week and the week before. The talent level isn't going to change. The talent level isn't going to go up. The focus level is just going to go up."
Steelers receiver, on playoff football
43-21: Bill Cowher's regular season record in his first four years.
43-21: Mike Tomlin's regular season record in his first four years.
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