Report: Proposed NFL CBA includes 7-team playoffs, 17-game regular season
The NFL playoffs and regular season could be expanding, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In the new collective bargaining agreement, the number of playoff teams in each conference would increase to seven. Only the first seed would have a bye.
If this rule passes, it would be instituted next season.
If there had been seven playoff teams per conference in the 2019-20 season, the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers would have made it to the postseason. The second-seeded Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs would not have had byes.
Schefter tweeted that NFL owners are also hoping to expand the regular season to 17 games per team and decrease preseason to three games.
Players would need to sign off on this rule for it to go into effect. If they do approve, it would not go into effect until 2021 at the earliest, Schefter wrote.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that regular season expansion has been “met with harsh opposition from many players” due to health risks.
The NFL Players Association held conference calls last week with players throughout the league to try to decide what other demands would need to be met by the NFL to secure players’ approval.
Jay Feely, a former Arizona Cardinals player who is now a CBS NFL analyst, told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday that it would likely be difficult for all the players to find common ground.
“You have all these different players that come from different backgrounds. Some that are stars, some that are role players in the NFLPA, so you have all these mentalities of what we should be looking for in a CBA and what benefits everybody,” Feely said.
“You also have the same thing on the other side with the owners, when you sit there and you have all these different personalities, you have all these different business dynamics, and what they want to see and what’s going to help their own personal club.”
Graziano reported the sides are hoping to reach a decision by March 18, which is the start of the 2020 league year.