NY Jets one of only 5 NFL teams to vote against major change

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By: Geoff Magliocchetti

The Jets aligned with their East Rutherford companions’ opinions on the future of TNF

When it comes to Thursday night, it turns out that the New York Jets aren’t very flexible.

Per Peter King of NBC Sports, the Jets were one of five teams that voted against expanding flexible scheduling to the NFL’s Thursday night package. The vote was taken at the NFL Owners Meeting in Phoenix last week and also met resistance from the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants. Requiring 24 votes to pass, the motion fell short when the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos abstained.

King notes that the Jets and their fellow dissenters may be simply prolonging the inevitable, remarking “will arm-twist, most likely, prior to the next league session in late May, and unless the anti forces can muster some momentum, it’s likely the measure will pass then.”

Introduced in 2006, flexible scheduling has been a polarizing concept on the NFL docket. The concept places marquee matchups in the NFL’s most-watched slots but has drawn criticism for inconveniencing fans who would have to adjust their own schedules to account for the time switch. It was primarily used in late-season games with the push to the postseason in full swing, assuring that the most impactful contests are seen by the widest audiences. The concept primarily applies to the Sunday night game broadcast on NBC but the league plans to expand its reach to ESPN’s Monday games as well.

The controversy only heightens when Thursday night games are brought into the conversation. Regular Thursday night games, which have been staged on a season-long basis since 2012, have proven equally polarizing, with player safety brought into question thanks to four three days between games as opposed to six-to-eight days of rest that linger between normal Sunday and Monday action.

Last season was the Thursday night package’s first year under the umbrella of streaming giant Amazon Prime Video, which is paying over $1 billion through 2033 for exclusive rights to such games. In Amazon’s 16-game debut slate, only four matchups featured two playoff teams and several later contests featured little, if any, playoff implications.

Thursday nights have often been the Jets’ lone source of national recognition over the years – they have not appeared on a Sunday night game since 2011 and were last invited to Monday night in 2020 (both matchups coming against the New England Patriots). Last season saw the Jets drop their lone nationally-televised game, a 19-3 Thursday decision at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars in December.

A thrilling offseason should bring back the cameras and trucks of both the peacock and the Worldwide Leader in Sports. A team packed with young talents, the Jets staged a surprising playoff push last season upon the arrival of rookies Sauce Gardner, Breece Hall, and Garrett Wilson. Further attention will likely follow the Jets if and when the long-discussed and highly publicized trade for Aaron Rodgers is completed.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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