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New NFLPA president likes the idea of expanded playoffs

Winston Getty Images

New NFLPA president Eric Winston hates the idea of an expanded regular season.  He doesn’t hate the idea of an expanded postseason.

“For the record, I don’t put expanded playoffs in the same category as 18 games,” Winston told SportsRadio 610 in Houston.  “We’re talking about one extra game possibly, for two teams or four teams total, if you would count both AFC [and] NFC.”

He’s right.  Expansion of the playoffs would entail a total of two extra teams, and ultimately one extra game for four teams, the No. 2 seed and No. 7 seed in each conference.  Expansion of the regular season would result in two extra games for 32 teams.

For the former, the extra game would be meaningful.  As to the latter, the extra regular-season games could be, for some teams, glorified exhibition contests.

Winston also supports a more fundamental reconsideration of the league’s approach to playoff seeding.

“I’m a big fan of radically changing a lot of the playoffs.” Winston said.  “Take Green Bay for example. This year hosting a 12-4 San Francisco 49ers team when I think Green Bay was [8-7-1].  I don’t agree with that.  I’d like them to not only add a game, I’d like to see them actually take a hard look here and say, ‘What are we really doing here, what are we really rewarding?’”

Reseeding could be a tougher sell for the league’s owners, because the NFL seems to continue to place a lot of emphasis on winning the division — and in turn hosting a playoff game.

But it looks like expanded playoffs won’t be a tough sell for the NFLPA, and for good reason.  The extra revenue from two extra playoff games will be shared by the players.  Also, the players could realize a one-week reduction in the preseason in return for agreeing to expanded playoffs.

While the issue didn’t make it to a vote at this year’s league meetings, it’s inevitable that, over the next year, a strong push will be made to expand the postseason as early as 2015.

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8 Responses to “New NFLPA president likes the idea of expanded playoffs”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 27, 2014 7:36 AM

    Of course, all of these people making comments about expanding the playoffs are in the football business and more interested in the numbers and the profits than the actual quality and integrity of the sport. There’s no good reason to say no to the money unless you prefer the fun and the meaning of intangible benefits over tangibly higher profits. Nobody who is really interested in money is going to say no to it. But as a fan, I don’t want it to be about the money because they aren’t cutting me in on it. Even if they were I wouldn’t care about the money for myself, I’d rather enjoy the game and make my money off something else, because football is a sacred passion, and to me the focus should be making the game better if the goal is for myself to enjoy it more. That cost is too high for everybody who has made this game their business livelihood though.

  2. bigperm33 says: Mar 27, 2014 7:39 AM

    of course he does. it means more money for the players.

  3. shaggymarrs says: Mar 27, 2014 11:23 AM

    If it means less of the preseason, I’m in.

  4. andynormile says: Mar 27, 2014 2:34 PM

    How about the following scenario.
    At the end of the 16 game regular season the top 8 teams in each conference (4 div winners, plus 4 next best records) advance to a further 2 game series (1v8, 2v7, 3v6, 4v5) and then (5v1, 6v2, 7v3, 8v4) at the end of which the top 6 teams based purely on total won loss record advance to the current playoff system.
    The best 8 teams get rewarded with an extra home game, and the playoff seeding becomes more equitable

  5. 12is3times4 says: Mar 27, 2014 3:09 PM

    If I were an NFL owner I might rather have my team be the 2nd seed under this proposal than the 1st. The 1st and 2nd seeds are both guaranteed to host two playoff games, but the 2nd seed also has a chance to host a third game (the CCG, if the 1st seed loses before then). Mo’ home playoff games = mo’ money.

  6. savojah says: Mar 27, 2014 3:52 PM

    To all you dummies who dont like expanded playoffs, get off your high horse! The players want it, and that all that matters! They put their bodies on the line every week. Award teams with a shot at a championship.

  7. rdskns2000 says: Mar 27, 2014 5:10 PM

    If the NFL really wants to expand revenue and be for player safety; then kill this playoff expansion idea.

    Instead, add a second bye to the season. 16 games played over 18 weeks instead of 17 weeks. You would have a bye early in the season and one late in the season. They did once back in the 90′s. I think you could get alot more for broadcasting one more week of football than broadcasting 2 more playoff games.

    With 2 byes instead of one; players would love that. Gives them more time to heal up.

  8. joejacks says: Mar 27, 2014 6:29 PM

    Mr Winston,
    What you are doing is rewarding division winners. You cannot avoid the fact the the NFL is divided into Conferences and then divisions within the Conferences. Schedules are such that teams play other teams in same division twice. Some years you get teams with lower overall records hosting games, but guess what if the other team is that much better they should win no matter where they play. Stop crying about irrelevant nonsense and focus on keeping and going back to playing physical football. Wake up and realize you are living a dream to play a sport making millions. Realize that you need to keep that same physical game or all will be lost.

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