NFL should implement Joe Burrow’s plan for Pro Bowl, schedule

    While some players are against the NFL expanding the schedule again, Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow is onboard if certain conditions are met. Burrow actually detailed several proposals that would shake up the NFL year. 

    For starters, Burrow wants two bye weeks. If the NFL is going to add another game, Burrow believes the players then need another week off from high level competition. 

    “Gotta have two bye weeks. I think it would be cool to do a normal bye week schedule that it is now,” said Burrow during an appearance on the Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take

    But understanding the NFL is a business and the financial benefit is the driving force behind a longer season, Burrow has an idea of what to do with the second bye week. Instead of taking another week away, Burrow suggests the NFL’s top players should get together for a festive All-Star weekend, copying the NBA. 

    “Have it spread out, but then, like Week 13, do the Pro Bowl break,” said Burrow. 

    He elaborated with his full plan. 

    “Where you are doing the 7-on-7 and all the skills challenges, like the NBA does, because I think that would get more ratings for the Pro Bowl. And then it would also give everyone that bye week going into the last six weeks of the year.”

    And honestly, Burrow’s proposal is genius, mostly because it’s not “if” the NFL moves to an 18-week schedule, but when. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell even candidly expressed his support of 18 regular season games during an interview with ESPN in May. 

    The 2022 Pro Bowler’s idea also serves as a compromise and fixes multiple issues. 

    Implementing a second bye week would alleviate concerns about the increased risk of injuries. A second bye would provide players more recovery time, something that would be necessary with another game on the schedule. 

    Moving the Pro Bowl from the week before the Super Bowl to the middle of the season would allow the event to truly showcase the game’s best players. The current placement makes it impossible for any Super Bowl participant to be part of anything Pro Bowl related. 

    And the biggest reason everyone should get onboard with Burrow’s proposal is because a midseason Pro Bowl would likely increase interest and television ratings exponentially. Even though there are football fans who will watch anything football related over anything else, the numbers indicate the average NFL fan is not tuning into the Pro Bowl. In fact, the Pro Bowl endured an 8.5% ratings drop in 2024, per Sports Business Journal

    Of course, the NFL season is different in structure from the NBA, NHL or MLB, and that’s why a midseason Pro Bowl has never seemed like an option in the past. But since the NFL has already moved away from holding an actual All-Star game and schedule expansion is on its way, a midseason event to honor the NFL’s stars seems not only feasible, but the right call. 

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