NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently dusted off a proposal that not long ago seemed to be inevitable: Expansion of the postseason.
“Could you do it? Yes, you could do it,” Goodell said. “From a competitive standpoint, our Competition Committee said, ‘We think we can do it properly.’ We’re still looking at the broadcasting side of it and then there’s a labor relations side of it, too, which you have to deal with with the union.”
The NFL has to deal with the union, but the NFL still hasn’t commenced that part of the process.
“It’s hard to comment on something that we haven’t gotten a real proposal about,” NFLPA president Eric Winston told PFT Live on Tuesday on the issue of playoff expansion. “So I’m not sure exactly what they’re referring to when they say, ‘We want to expand the postseason.’ I mean, what exactly are we talking about? Obviously there’s a lot of reports in the media and there’s a lot of people in the media talking about, ‘That means this or this means that,’ but I think as long as I’ve been doing this a lot of those tend to be wrong or the fine print isn’t exactly what it says it is.
“So like I said until there’s a written proposal from the league that’s when we know they’re at least serious about it and then we can start bargaining over that working-condition change. And I think that’s something that’s important, you know? That’s a working-condition change that has to be bargained. It’s not something that the owners can unilaterally implement.”
This means that, for the NFL to get something it wants (expanded playoffs), the NFL has to give the NFL Players Association something it wants. And the NFL surely wants to give the NFLPA only a cut of the extra revenue that comes from staging a pair of extra playoff games in the wild-card round, and nothing more than that.