Tom Brady sounds off on adding 17th regular-season game: 'It was a terrible decision'

·3-min read

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady isn't happy he has to play an additional game this season. Brady ripped the decision to add a 17th game to the NFL's regular-season schedule, calling it "pointless."

Brady made those comments during his appearance on the "Let's Go!" podcast Tuesday, saying the rule change was "a terrible decision."

"I think it's pointless. 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. You're eight games into the year and you're not halfway through, so that's kind of a little frustration aspect. Whatever. We'll play it. It's there.

"A lot of guys probably miss games over the course of the season anyway, so they probably don't play all 16, most guys. But if you're fortunate to be able to make it through a season and you gotta play the 17th game, I think there are a lot of things that I would adjust to the offseason, the regular season schedule. A lot of people know my feelings on some of these topics. I've been pretty vocal about NFL issues over the last couple years, and some of the things that are done that I don't necessarily think are in the best interest of the game."

Brady was outspoken about rule changes during the offseason. He expressed displeasure over the jersey number rule and urged other players to stand united in collective-bargaining talks.

Tom Brady urges players to take stronger stance against owners

Brady made similar comments during the podcast, saying he believes the union needs to be stronger when negotiating with team owners. 

"Our union hasn't proven that it's strong enough to withstand the pressure from NFL owners. I would love to see a stronger union so that we could negotiate something that's more fair, and what's really right for the owners, for the coaches and the players. All three groups need different things. If you're going to ask more, then you better provide more. That hasn't been the way the negotiations have gone."

When asked why negotiations have been contentious, Brady said NFL owners "haven't had to listen to the players." He added that players have the option to not play, or play under the demands of the owners. Brady said players have opted for the latter, giving NFL owners what they want. 

The union and the NFL owners agreed to a new collective-bargaining agreement in May, 2020. That deal extends to 2030. Brady's playing career will likely be over by then, though we probably shouldn't doubt him.

Given Brady's strong comments, assisting the players' union could be a good career choice once he's done on the field.

Tom Brady with the Buccaneers.
Tom Brady isn't a big fan of the 17th regular-season game. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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