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Don’t expect a vote on playoff expansion before March

2005 NFC Wild Card Playoff Game - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - January 7, 2006 Getty Images

Not surprisingly, NFL owners didn’t take up the question of playoff expansion as of 2015 at the March 2014 league meetings.  Not surprisingly, they didn’t take it up at the May 2014 quarterly meetings.

And it won’t be a surprise when they don’t take it up in October or at any point before March 2015.

Apart from the various moving parts and other logistics, including the need to get 24 owners on board with playoff expansion to the obligation to bargain with the union over the change in workplace conditions to the money that could be offered by the networks for two extra wild-card games, it would be foolish to add a pair of playoff teams for the 2015 postseason field until the 2014 postseason has come and gone.

Imagine the outcry from the fans of the two teams that would have made it to the playoffs in 2014 if a decision is made to grow the field from 12 to 14 teams as of the next season.  Those fans would argue that, if the NFL is willing to decide to expand the playoffs in 2014 for 2015, they should have been expanded as of 2014.

The far better approach will be to expand the postseason next March.  The fact that the issue has crept into the meetings more than a year early confirms that plenty of work needs to be done before the change can officially be made.  Still, officially making a change that won’t apply until 2015 before the end of the 2014 NFL season makes no sense.

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7 Responses to “Don’t expect a vote on playoff expansion before March”
  1. Eli Pacheco says: May 22, 2014 1:04 AM

    This will water down the field. Look for teams to make the postseason with 7-9 records. And for a coach to take a team to the playoffs – and still lose his job with a loss.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: May 22, 2014 1:10 AM

    It feels imminent, but if the NFL truly believes 14 is the truly just and rightful number whether now or very soon, then they aren’t being very fair with the 2 teams that get cut out this year.

    I would just assume if my home team was one of those 2 teams this year that they would reward us with a compensatory 1st Round pick at the end of the round, that should make things more even.

  3. macjacmccoy says: May 22, 2014 1:26 AM

    I dont know why you keep saying it. Fans dont want expanded playoffs. That includes the fans of teams that find themselves on the brink of making the playoffs.

    They will know that their team probably wasnt good enough to win the super bowl that year anyway. They will realize adding more teams will just add to the risk of their team getting knocked out of the playoffs in future, when they might of actually had a chance at winning, by a team that doesnt deserve to be there.

  4. macjacmccoy says: May 22, 2014 1:32 AM

    Talking about outcry, what about the outcry of the players and fans of the #2 ranked teams in each conference who get a playoff bye taken from them every year this rule is implemented?

    I would be more worried about the reaction of those people whose teams all season long proved their worth then the reactions of the people whose teams all season long proved the opposite.

  5. mustbechris says: May 22, 2014 7:04 AM

    Fans of some 7-9 team are gonna be maaad that their team got “snubbed” this year

  6. politicallyincorrect says: May 22, 2014 8:16 AM

    LOL at NFL.. Goodell/owners

    public does not want playoff expansion.. owners want to force it.. and they will.. but they are trying to let dissent subside and sneak it in later..

    owners like Kraft and JJones are a joke….

  7. jpherling says: May 23, 2014 3:24 PM

    Hopefully, it will dawn on a majority of the owners that maintaining the quality of the game is more important than satisfying their greed.

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