Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Monday, June 27, 2011
Winston advocated Thurs. nights early on

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

A full-season Thursday night NFL package looks to be part of the deal the league and players are piecing together.

Whether the NFL Network keeps the half season it’s had and the league sells half a season or whether the whole package is for sale remains to be seen. (It's hard to imagine no games on the league's network.) But either way it’s going to provide a new revenue stream when it comes to fruition.

Texans right tackle Eric Winston talked about the idea back in March. I don’t know if he was the first guy or the only guy to push for it then, so I won’t call for a standing ovation. But he should get at least a golf clap.

I asked Winston what it feels like to see an expanded Thursday night package in line to be part of the new CBA.

“Well geez, vindication always feels good,” he said via email. “Lol. Jk. I have no idea if I was the first one but I have been talking about it for awhile. Always felt like, if finding extra revenue was a big part of a solution and Monday Night Football earns so much money, why wouldn't Thursday Night football do the same? Bidding it out to a major network just seemed like a no brainer.”

Back in March, Winston also talked about possibly expanding the playoffs. That’s one I hope doesn’t come about. I’m against watering down the playoff field in virtually every situation in any sport.