Yes, the NFL will expand to 17 regular-season games this week

Wild Card Round - Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills
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Maybe it’s just a slow news day.

Whatever the case, a report from ESPN that the NFL’s owners are expected to add a 17th regular-season game this week is not news. Anyone who has been paying any attention to the NFL over the past few months knew that it wasn’t just “expected” to happen, but that it is happening.

The only question left is whether the NFL will reduce the preseason to three games or to two. The owners are expected (am I doing that right?) to reduce the preseason to three games.

The NFL has wanted to expand the regular season for years. Last year, the league secured an agreement from the NFL Players Association to move to 17. The new TV deals were negotiated based on the assumption that there will be 17 games; ESPN even negotiated and obtained a Saturday doubleheader in Week (wait for it) 18.

So, yes, it’s happening. The fact that it’s happening has been common knowledge.

As to where the 17th game will come from, we reported last year that it will be an interconference contest, based on where a team finished in its division the prior year. Peter King provided more specificity several weeks ago, pointing out that the 17th game means the Chiefs and Packers will play this year.

On Friday’s PFT Live, we did a draft of the best games that will come from the formula that generates the extra game. The video is attached.

20 responses to “Yes, the NFL will expand to 17 regular-season games this week

  1. More money for the billionaire owners; more CTE for the players. Life in the NFL.

  2. Big mistake. Unless, of course, owners throw on helmets and pads for at least one series. Then I say make it a 20-game season. I want to see a shower of cash shoot out of their jerseys every time they get drilled.

  3. So does every contract jump in pay by 1/17 effective immediately?

    Seems kind of logical that it would.

  4. They protest everything else but somehow no movement against the 17 game season?

  5. The owners are pushing for 3 preseason games so they will have a better buffer once they decide to go for 18 regular games. It’s one for one but not quite, since most starters used to play only a few drives in the first 2 games, and didn’t dress for the fourth.

  6. And, just like the season records in baseball got convoluted when the 154 game season was expanded to 162 games, so it will now be in the NFL.

  7. Expanded the playoff teams and now they’re expanding seasons, it won’t bring back fans that they let their employees run off with political nonsense. Reap what you sew.

  8. lammalamma says:
    March 28, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    So does every contract jump in pay by 1/17 effective immediately?


    I’m sure that would be a “NO”.
    Whatever money you signed for is simply divided into 17 games.
    The salary cap is already locked in for this season so there’ll be no “jump in pay” this season.
    Players won’t start seeing the extra monetary benefits until they sign brand new contracts next season. Tough luck if you signed a 3 year contract this off-season. That money is locked in.

  9. Won’t matter much. A lot of people tuned the nfl out already. Nothing the nfl can do to bring back the fans. The casual fan isn’t what the nfl needs. Shining some light on the sport will only get a few people interested for a shirt time. The nfl decided to cater to those who aren’t die hard fans and it backfired. It is what it is. I know I only watched a few games last year. The players decided to fo fringe and I don’t watch sports to see how fanatical the players are about causes. I probably won’t watch any games this year. Turns out there are plenty of other things to do than to watch TV.

  10. I say play a 30 game schedule over 35 weeks with each team getting 5 byes (average 1 bye week every six weeks). Then have a six week window from mid-May to the end of July for the Draft process with training camps opening the 1st week of August. This would not have been possible 20 years ago, but the game is not nearly so physical now as it was back then.

  11. So, does the season start earlier or do they extended it. If they extend it, that means the Super Bowl will be in February.

  12. Call me a traditionalist, but I don’t like it. Neither does my friend Evan Peters. They should’ve just left it at 16 games. But I’ll still watch my Packers every chance I get.

  13. Been saying this was comimh for years, however no one listens. Instead of 9 home games these games played at neutral sites,, London, Barcelona, Rome, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, San Antonio, Birmingham, St.Louis, Boise, Columbia S.C., oMAHA..

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