Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders or Bears for 49ers? NFL proposing reducing preseason to one game per team

Jul 20, 2020 at 9:54 AM--

The NFL is comfortable with holding just two weeks' worth of preseason games while the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) would like to see the exhibition schedule eliminated this year. The union feels that the risks of COVID-19 outweigh any benefits of playing those games.

The two sides may meet somewhere in the middle.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio is reporting that the league is now proposing a one-week preseason for each team as a lead-up to the regular season.

"I was told last week that, very likely, the end result will be one preseason game (per team) featuring teams that are in some geographic proximity," Florio said on Monday. "Giants, Jets in the same stadium. Chargers, Rams, for example.

"When you start looking around the league, though, you're still going to have a team that's going to have to get on an airplane and go somewhere. But the idea is to minimize the travel and to have that one game.

"According to NFL Media, that's officially been proposed to the union; one game in the preseason. The NFL has moved off of two. The NFL moved from four to two beyond any negotiations. And now, as these negotiations continue, the NFL has moved from two to one."

Florio adds that the NFLPA still wants no preseason games.

For now, there remain four preseason games on the schedule. The NFL has proposed eliminating the first and last weeks of the exhibition schedule, leaving the 49ers with an August 21 home matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders and an August 29 road game against the Chicago Bears.

One of those preseason matchups may be headed out the window. If I had to guess, the preferred matchup to play would be the one against the Raiders, as Las Vegas to Santa Clara involves significantly less travel. Of course, NFL Network is reporting that the league would like the game to be during that week scheduled to feature the 49ers and Bears.

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