Rugby Players Association chief executive Damian Hopley believes "less is more" and says strike action is an option in the debate over a 10-month long season.
The umbrella organisation for the 12 Aviva Premiership clubs is seeking to establish a structure running from September to June as part of negotiations for the new global calendar, which is to take effect from August 2020.
With summer tours moved to July it means international players will face an 11-month season, prompting England stars Billy Vunipola, Ben Youngs and Joe Marler to declare that they regard strike action as a viable option if their voices are not heard.
England captain Dylan Hartley, meanwhile, has described the prospect of the extended campaign as "not welcome".
Hopley, speaking at the Leaders in Sport summit, said: "Strike action is the ultimate sanction, but the last people the players would want to disengage or disavow would be the fans.
"It's obviously an option, but there's enough commonsense and grey hair around the table to try to find the right solution.
"I think we're all crying out for less, rather than more, at the moment.
"We're very keen to navigate a way through this and find a solution which will work for everyone."
The NFL, which has a five-month season, has been pointed at as a source of comparison.
Hopley added: "Less is more. The quality of the games are super high. That's what we're aspiring to.
"Five weeks into the Premiership season the quality has been through the roof. It's just whether that's sustainable."
The issue is sure to be high on the agenda at a Professional Game board meeting at the end of November, where representatives from the Rugby Football Union, Premiership Rugby, the RPA and Championship clubs will be present.
Hopley hopes a solution to the 10-month season debate can be reached before the end of the year.
He added: "We see that as the forum. That has to be the right way forward to find a solution.
"In an ideal world this would all get resolved by the end of the year, so everyone can start planning for 2019-2020.
"We have to get commonsense in the room, sit round the table and try to thrash out what will work with player welfare not actually being talked about, but actually being acted upon."
The revised structure was proposed in March, but the RPA is yet to receive details of it or data about the issue.
The physical and psychological toll on the players must be considered, says Hopley, who agrees there may be a need to compromise on matters such as salaries.
"The fact you've had a number of players speaking out unprompted just shows you the strength of feeling amongst the players," he added.
"We were very disappointed that the league didn't engage us at all around this. We were just told this was a fait accompli.
"(But) Premiership rugby and their clubs are now sitting up and taking notice."
An RFU spokesperson said: "Player welfare is top of the list when considering an extended season.
"We are looking at medical data and evidence which examines all elements of player load and will use this to inform discussions and decisions."