The current NFL regular season and playoff format might not last for much longer.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the new collective bargaining agreement proposal features 17 regular season games (as opposed to 16) and seven playoff teams per conference (as opposed to six). The preseason would be chopped down to three games (as opposed to four).
In addition to all of this, the No. 1 seed from each conference (as opposed to the top two seeds) would also be the only team to earn a first-round postseason bye. All remaining playoff teams would be playing on wild card weekend, thus increasing the first round from four games to six.
Schefter notes that the playoff format change has “been agreed to for a long time” by owners and players and could be in effect for 2020. The 17-game regular season, however, has yet to be agreed upon and would be not be implemented until 2021 at the earliest.
So, how are you feeling about all of this?
I’m generally open to ideas when it comes to change. But I also didn’t think there was anything wrong with the current format. The regular season already feels long enough at 16 games. Six teams per conference is enough for the playoffs; we don’t need to see more worse teams making the postseason.
I don’t love only one team getting a first-round bye. That break has already proved to be a large advantage when you look at recent Super Bowl winners. Now it’ll be even less surprising when the No. 1 seeds are constantly winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy. I’m all for rewarding great teams but part of the fun of the playoffs is the unpredictability.
I’m hardly trying to suggest these changes are the worst thing ever. I’m not outraged by them. A little annoyed, if anything.
What say you?
Do you approve of the NFL regular season expanding to 17 games?
This poll is closed
Do you approve of the NFL expanding the playoffs to 7 teams per conference?
This poll is closed
Whether you like the changes or not, the reality is they could be coming very soon. Schefter reports the new CBA could be ratified prior to March 18:
“The new CBA’s not done, there’s no term sheet yet, there still are issues being negotiated, but I’d be very surprised if there’s not a new CBA for the new league year,” the source said.
A new CBA prior to the start of free agency would certainly be of interest to the Philadelphia Eagles. For starters, it would likely allow them to designate Alshon Jeffery as a post-June 1 cut. That’s an option that’s not currently on the table. A new CBA could also prevent the Dallas Cowboys from using both the franchise tag and transition tag in one offseason ... and instead force them to choose one of the two as they try to retain key free agents (Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, etc).