Although the NFL’s owners are expected to decide to expand the playoffs to 14 teams starting with the 2015 season, the players’ union says it’s not that simple.
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that the union’s position is that games can only be added through negotiations with the players.
“If there will be an expansion of the playoffs, there will be a proposal by the National Football League pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement,” Smith said. “That is a change of working conditions. Changes of working conditions must be negotiated with this union. And I haven’t seen a proposal from the National Football League and I know that is a necessary precondition.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seems intent on expanding the playoffs, and he seems to have the support of enough owners to pass a proposal. Once a proposal passes, would the union fight it? The union might express some concerns about the schedule of those additional playoff games, but it’s hard to believe the union would be dead-set against expanding the playoffs, the way the union is dead-set against an expansion to 18 regular-season games. After all, two more playoff games would only affect the players who are on those two additional playoff teams, but it would bring in additional revenue to the entire league, and that additional revenue would result in a higher salary cap and more money for the players on all 32 teams.