NFL Players Union counters

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL Players Association wants two bye weeks and bigger rosters to accept the league’s proposed 18-game regular season.

A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press the union’s counterproposal also includes a potential expansion of practice squad size and a twothirds reduction of offseason workouts.

The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the details.

The owners want to play 18 regular-season and two preseason games instead of the current breakdown of 16 and four. That’s one issue to be hashed out during the collective bargaining negotiations between the league and the union. The current agreement expires in March, raising fears of a potential lockout.

Last month, Colts president Bill Polian said an 18-game regular season was a “fait accompli,” and Polian was admonished by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

With the league preferring not to play on Labor Day weekend, the players’ proposal could mean a Super Bowl in mid-February. This season’s title game is scheduled for Feb. 6 in Arlington, Texas.

Current rosters are set at 53 and the players want at least four or five more spots. Coaches certainly will want to suit up more than the 45 and a third quarterback currently allowed.

Neither side has said when the next set of negotiations will be held. The owners have a meeting in Dallas in mid-December.

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