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Thursday, April 2, 2009
Mawae: Not excited about 18-game season

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

  Mawae

To no surprise, NFLPA president and former Seahawks center Kevin Mawae isn't on board with extending the regular season to 18 games. Mawae, entering his 16th season and fourth with the Titans, put it this way in a Wednesday interview with Sirius NFL Radio:

"Well, obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is, 'What's in it for us?' If we're going to give you two more games, two more games of wear and tear on our bodies, two more games of potential career-ending injuries, two more games of concussions, blown out knees, elbows, whatever you want to call it, then what's the price you're willing to pay for us to give that to you? Anytime you add a game onto the regular season, it comes down to a collective bargaining issue as part of the CBA, and there's a give and take. Do I want to play 18 regular season games? No, not really but again I don't want to play four preseason games either. So we'll figure something out."

Asked if he could choose between 18 regular-season games or four exhibition games, Mawae wasn't interested in either:

"Well, you know, I would rather have 16 regular-season games and two preseason games. In a perfect world. You have the argument that, well, the coaches won't have enough time to evaluate players. Don't buy it. We have 14 OTA days. If you're a new coach, you have up to five minicamps and most coaches keep their players in town until the middle of July right up until the 10-day dead period before training camp.
"So, I think the biggest issue for players is compensation and potential injury and harm on the field. That's another 120 snaps for myself if you figure you average 60 plays a game and anything can happen. I'm certainly not a big fan of 18 games but, again, if it is something that we can get something significant out of the collective bargaining process, then it's something we'll take a look at."
This issue is far from settled, despite our best efforts in the most recent Double Coverage debate.