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New England Patriots Links 2/01/11 - Wilfork: 18-Game Season Is 'Crazy'; Would Hurt The Better Teams

Karen Guregian reports Vince Wilfork isn’t afraid to say how much he hates the idea of the proposed 18-game regular-season schedule.

"It’s one of those things where you just have to sit and see what happens," Wilfork first said with respect to a lockout. "But I can tell you one thing, 18 games don’t make no sense. Eighteen games turns into 20 games because the two preseason games you have to play your veterans and your starters. So that’s 20 games.

"Playing 20 games, then going into the postseason, I think that will hurt the better teams," he said. "You wind up playing two seasons because of all of those games. So you never get a chance to get your team back, or their bodies back. So again, I think 18 games would be real stupid."

"You talk about concussions now with a 16-game season, you just think about what would happen with 18 games, and with other injuries? It would be real crazy if you have some of your key players missing games because they can’t make it through. If you get to Games 17 or 18, and your key guys are missing, what happens then?

"I don’t know, it’s all crazy. I just think it’ll be real stupid if they do that. That’s all I’m saying."

Mike Reiss gets Chicago RB Matt Forte's impression of how the Bears viewed the Patriots defense entering the teams' game Dec. 12th.

"Basically what I saw is that their offense helps out their defense," Forte said. "It's a team, as a whole, that doesn't make a lot of mistakes. When you have a team like that, and you commit a turnover against them, you can get behind fast. That can be a tough team to beat."

Greg A. Bedard reports the NFL and the players' union issued a joint statement pledging formal negotiations aimed at getting a new CBA in place by March 4th.

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Commissioner Roger Goodell met today in New York to discuss a range of issues related to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. As part of a process to intensify negotiations, they agreed to hold a formal bargaining session with both negotiating teams on Saturday in the Dallas area. They also agreed to a series of meetings over the next few weeks, both formal bargaining sessions and smaller group meetings, in an effort to reach a new agreement by early March.