NFL-NFLPA meetings to include discussion of expanded playoffs

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With the NFL and the NFL Players Association spending the next two days in meetings, the topics will indeed extend beyond a discussion of player behavior.

Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the talks will include a discussion of expanded playoffs.

The NFL has deferred a vote on expanding the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams as of 2015, undoubtedly to avoid a situation in which the league locks in to the move and then the NFLPA wants a bunch of stuff in exchange for agreeing to two extra playoff games.  So the league wants to do the bargaining in advance.

The quo for the quid could include, for example, one less week of preseason games for all players.  It’s no secret that the NFL would expand the playoffs to offset the revenue lost by giving up the fourth week of preseason games that Roger Goodell despises.  Since the players benefit from that, it makes sense to offer giving up a week of preseason games as the concession to expanding the playoffs.

The league also could dangle smaller inducements, like getting rid of overtime in the preseason.  On the agenda for last month’s league meetings, the league wisely tabled the move to make overtime irrelevant for four weeks of exhibition.  Since it can be used as something that benefits players by reducing their exposure to live contact, it shouldn’t be done unilaterally.

Ultimately, the players should welcome expanded playoffs because they currently share in the total revenue.  Selling a pair of prime-time playoff games on top of the four already played on wild-card weekend could generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

Also helping the effort is that new NFLPA president Eric Winston already has said he likes expanded playoffs.  Which means that it should be easy to come to an agreement.

Then again, that’s what we thought about HGH testing in 2011.  Especially since they actually reached an agreement.

27 responses to “NFL-NFLPA meetings to include discussion of expanded playoffs

  1. Yeah but if Eric Winston feels the players aren’t getting other things that they want or feel they need, then maybe he uses dissention to the idea of expanded playoffs to put the league and owners in a bind if they don’t agree to split the new money in a more favorable way than past money that wasn’t split fairly to make up for that, or whatever other issues they care about that aren’t getting addressed properly. Hopefully Eric Winston doesn’t blow this opportunity to negotiate on behalf of whatever outstanding problems his constituency is having.

  2. Lets water down the playoffs but sweeten the profit pool. Fans be darned! More is always better right? Right? Just ask the mundane NBA and NHL Regular Season where everyone makes the playoffs.

    As the late great George Young used to say, “When they say its NOT about the money……Its about the money!”

  3. It’s hard to say that playoffs would be “watered down” by adding one or two more teams.

    Look at the NCAA men’s basketball final between two great but lower ranked teams that struggled in the regular season.

    Also look at how many lower seeds in the NHL playoffs make serious waves and even win the cup like the LA Kings did a few years ago as an 8 seed.

    Not to mention all of the Wild card teams that make the Super Bowl and/or win it completely. Most years, a Wild Card team is in the SB.

    So yeah, I’m all for adding more teams to the playoffs. More football is a GOOD thing, especially playoff football in a league where anything can and typically does in the playoffs.

  4. I guess the advantage is that it’ll help teams on the decline, such as the Packers, Seattle, and New Orleans have a shot at the playoffs when they otherwise wouldn’t. That’s because Vikings, Denver, and Carolina will be habitual playoff teams. There are only so many spots.

  5. Jerrah is in favor of this. How about a full playoff. First sunday, all teams, best record plays worst record, etc. Wednesday, repeat with the 16 teams left. Next sunday, same with the 8 teams left. Next sunday, the four remaining teams, Next sunday, the super bowl. That gives teams like the Cowboys, who take half the season off, a chance to win a playoff game.


  6. Citing the NCAA tournament and NHL playoffs as positive examples for expanding the playoffs makes little sense. The NCAA basketball regular season is largely irrelevant, other than a few rivalry games and the minor prestige of winning your league, all that matters is that you win enough to make it to the tournament. The NHL example is even more extreme, 80+ regular seasons winnow down the playoff field from 30 teams to 16. Calling the NHL regular season a waste of time is an understatement.

    I’m not sure the statistics back up the claim that “most years a wild card team is in the Super Bowl,” but regardless, the fact that wild card teams have had playoff success is hardly an argument for adding even more wild card teams. The point of the playoffs should be to reward the teams that were the best over the course of 16 games, rather than wild card teams that slip into the playoffs and manage to get hot once they’re there.

  7. just stop all the tall of letting 2 more teams in and just go ahead and ruin the sport that everybody loves the way it is, and be like every other sport and let all teams make the playoffs that way nobody can complain and you will make the regular season worthless. for a sport that supposedly cars about the fans and the integrity of the game why don’t they listen to what they have to say on the subject? oh wait they care about the money above all else.

  8. Money it’s a gas
    Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
    New car, caviar, four star daydream,
    Think I’ll buy me a football team

  9. We heard the “ruin the sport” argument when they went from 8 teams to 10 teams in the playoffs after expansion

    Then we heard the “ruin the sport” argument when they went from 10-12

    Guess what? It didn’t ruin the sport.

    The league has since expanded, but has not added 2 more teams to the playoffs.

    Will that allow an 8-8 team in? Sure – the current playoff system has seen 8-8 teams in the playoffs, and kept out 11-5 teams in the same season.

    So the only difference would be that NOW the 11-5 team would get in while the 8-8 team would either be quickly vanquished or prove the naysayers wrong by going on a run

    How is THAT going to ruin the sport?

  10. Expanding the playoffs would be a great idea because it would make the race for the 1 seed that much greater, it would also give hope to bills, raiders, browns, and jaguars fans that their teams could finally make the playoffs

  11. Yeah lets shove expanded playoffs virtually none of the fans want down their throats and water down the best part of the season.

    Can’t wait till some oddity in the system lets a 6-8 team make it while a 10 or 11 win team sits. Not that the league will care.

  12. Right now Wild Card teams (the ones who everyone said would “ruin the game” if they expanded the playoffs in 1990) routinely make it to the Super Bowl

    They have frequently won the whole thing

    I really don’t recall anyone saying that ruined the game

    8-8 teams already get in now – but 11-5 teams get left out. This will strengthen the playoffs by allowing more strong teams in, with the weak teams either going on a run or getting ousted.

    But if a Division winning team gets ousted by a Wild Card team they have no one to blame but themselves

  13. This preseason OT thing is nonsense; most coaches have already legislated it out by simply going for two when a extra point would tie it, so the game ends one way or the other.

  14. AS a fan if I wanted to see every team make the playoffs I would watch the NBA

  15. Getting rid of the fourth preseason game, which is usually for bubble players will make the third game the bubble boy game, meaning you never really get rid of that last game no one wants to see. In addition, the players don’t practice enough as it is and losing another preseason game will reduce the quality of play even more. In the past several years (Giants, Ravens) were teams that came in 9-7 but played their best football at the end of the year (meaning they weren’t as prepared as they should have been early in the season). You would think with all the rule changes we had the following of baseball instead of the most popular sport in the country if not the world (probably soccer is the most popular, but it sounded good)

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