Earlier today, during talks between the NFL and NFL Players Association, the league delivered a proposal for an 18-game season which would eliminate two preseason games but extend the length of the regular season.
The proposal, which could be instituted as early as the 2012 season, is not going over well with many players, including Ray Lewis.
"Don't get me wrong, I love the game of football," the Ravens' linebacker said in a statement released by the NFLPA. "If fans want to show their love, they should let everyone know that we are not machines. I've been blessed to play this game for so long, but it's time to start thinking about what legacy and impact changes like this will leave for the players of tomorrow and us after we retire.
"I know our fans may not like preseason games and I don't like all of them, but swapping two preseason games for two end-of-season games--when players already play hurt--comes at a huge cost for the player and the team. I know our Union is on top of it and players need to stay in touch with the Union and our Executive Director to stay informed."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also released a comment through the Players Association:
"I've taken part in several postseason runs where we have played 20 games," Brady said. "The long-term impact this game has on our bodies is well documented. Look no further than the players that came before we did. Each player today has to play three years in order to earn five years of post-career health care.
"Our Union has done a great job of raising the awareness on these issues and will make the right decision for us players, the game and the fans."