Could NFL Add Two Playoff Teams In Near Future?
As negotiations continue between the National Football League (NFL) team owners (and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, pictured above) and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), talk is growing that both sides are open to expanding the NFL playoff field from 12 to 14 teams. That's according to multiple media outlets.
The NFL has not altered its playoff structure since 1990, when the league expanded to 12 playoff teams from 10. The NFL moved from 8 to 10 playoff teams in 1978, thus creating the "wild-card round" to the postseason. From 1970-1977, only the three division winners, plus the team with the best record among the non-division winners (the wild-card team) made the playoffs.
This would be in exchange for getting rid of one preseason game (everybody plays four preseason games currently, two teams play five), according to the same media reports.
The current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021 (or after the 2020 season), but the owners and NFLPA have already begun talking about a new deal to avoid a potential lockout or strike.