Goodell: Playoff expansion will likely be approved for 2015 season

May 21, 9:47 AM

NFL owners tabled discussions Tuesday on expanded playoffs, but commissioner Roger Goodell indicated afterwards that there is a good chance there will be a new system in place come 2015.

"I do believe [playoff expansion] will be approved for the 2015 season," Goodell said, via "I think we want to see one more year of 'Will it impact the regular season in a positive way, from a competitive standpoint.' Will it create more excitement, more races toward the end? ... And we also want to absorb the additional inventory into the marketplace, from an advertising standpoint.

"... I spoke to [union president DeMaurice Smith] about it two weeks ago. I think there's a lot of benefits to the players. That' something they'll have to evaluate. ... I do believe this is a real benefit to the players. The revenue, obviously, will increase, and they share in that."

Goodell said the league wants to focus on its new "Thursday Night Football" partnership with CBS before increasing its playoff format.

"Our general view here was that we should proceed with the Thursday night focus that we have this year - we're adding inventory into the market place and this makes the most sense for us," Goodell said.

Jun 21, 1:17 PM

Jets owner Woody Johnson: 'I kind of like the idea of more playoff games'

Jun 21, 1:17 PM

The NFL is reportedly likely to approve a plan to expand the playoffs in 2015, and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson says he isn't opposed.

"There are good arguments on both sides, and I haven’t gone into it in maybe the depth that we will,” Johnson told The Star-Ledger this week

“We’re going to study it hard. But I kind of like it. I kind of like the idea of more playoff games. We’re still below other sports [in terms of the number of teams that make the playoffs].”

Johnson is right in the sense that only 12 of 32 teams make the NFL playoffs as opposed to 16 of 30 in both the NBA and NHL, although 10 of 30 qualify for the postseason in Major League Baseball.

The NFL is reportedly discussing the possibility of increasing the number of playoff teams to 14.

This isn't the first time the Jets owner expressed an interest in expanding the league's postseason.

A month ago, Johnson reportedly said he preferred playoff expansion to maintaining the status quo.

[H/T Pro Football Talk]

Feature photo courtesy of Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

May 20, 12:14 PM

No vote on expanded playoffs until fall 2014 at the earliest

May 20, 12:14 PM

ATLANTA - NFL owners will not vote on expanding the playoffs to 14 teams until fall at the earliest.

The addition of two teams in the playoffs was discussed Tuesday at the league's spring meetings, but several owners and team executives said no vote would occur. There is strong sentiment among the owners to add a wild-card team in each conference to the postseason, most likely beginning in 2015.

Such a setup would eliminate one of the first-round byes, with only the team with the best record in each conference getting a week off at the beginning of the playoffs.

Later Tuesday, the owners will vote on the site of the 2018 Super Bowl, with New Orleans, Indianapolis and Minneapolis bidding.

May 19, 9:28 PM

NFLPA: Expanded playoffs 'absolutely' require union's approval

May 19, 9:28 PM

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah disagrees with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who claims the NFL's attempt to expand the playoffs does not need to be approved by the players.

Jones suggested the owners will not seek agreement from the union before expanding the playoffs.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the National Labor Relations Act requires parties in a collective bargaining agreement to "confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment."

The union could certainly argue that the number of games played falls under those terms.

The league has discussed adding two more playoff teams (one per conference) as early as the 2015 season.

Feature photo courtesy of Derick E. Hingle-US-PRESSWIRE / Reuters

May 19, 5:14 PM

Cowboys owner Jones doesn't think expanded playoffs require NFLPA approval

May 19, 5:14 PM

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones does not believe the expansion of the NFL playoffs requires the approval of the players.

Jones also told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that there is broad support for expanding the playoffs and Jones is eager to add playoff teams to improve the Cowboys' chances.

“The sooner the better for the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones told Paolantonio. “The more of our teams that have a chance to get in the tournament, I think, it’s the better.”

Back in March, NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah said that because the expanded playoffs would add two more games, it would need to be included as part of the collective bargaining process.

"There is no unilateral decision on expanding the [postseason]," Atallah said at the time, via ESPN. "That is something that has to be collectively bargained."

[H/T Pro Football Talk]

Feature photo courtesy of Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Mar 17, 7:39 PM

Report: NFL likely to expand playoffs in 2015

Mar 17, 7:39 PM

The NFL will hold its annual league meetings beginning next week in Orlando, Fla. and there are a number of hot button issues to be discussed when owners, coaches and club executives get together. One of the biggest changes that will be debated at the meetings is the playoff expansion that has been rumored since back in September.

The MMQB's Peter King has paid close attention to the details and based on the information he's acquired, he believes we will see 14 teams in the 2015 playoffs.  

I’m hearing it’s probably a matter of when, not if. More likely than not, the league will add two playoff teams in time for the 2015 season, meaning 14 playoff teams (instead of the current 12) out of 32. I’m also hearing the league would be inclined toward one team in each conference getting a first-week bye in the postseason. That would mean matchups of two versus seven seeds, three versus six, and four versus five in the wild-card round. This, of course, would mean six wild-card games instead of four, with at least one of them likely moving to Monday night.

Expanded playoffs have been gaining momentum and from an owners perspective, why not? It would allow for two extra games that would help further the league's revenue. If that system was implemented for this past season, then the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers would have received the added playoff spots.   

Mar 10, 8:43 PM

NFLPA would have to approve expanded playoffs

Mar 10, 8:43 PM

If the NFL intends to follow through with expanding the NFL playoffs from 12 teams to 14, then it will need the NFLPA to sign off on the proposal.

The NFLPA's assistant executive director of external affairs, George Atallah, said in a conference call Monday that because the expanded playoffs would add two more games, it would need to be included as part of the collective bargaining process.

"There is no unilateral decision on expanding the [postseason]," Atallah said in the conference call, via ESPN. "That is something that has to be collectively bargained."

The playoffs are not going to be adjusted for this season, but comissioner Roger Goodell has said he would like to see an expanded postseason implemented for 2015. Discussion for expanded playoffs has already started within the NFL's competition committee.

Feb 27, 11:48 AM

Report: 'There is momentum' for adding two more teams to NFL playoffs by 2015

Feb 27, 11:48 AM

Support is growing among NFL decision-makers to add two teams (one per conference) to the playoffs in the coming years, The Washington Post reports.

“I think there’s a lot of momentum for it,” a source close to the situation told the Post. “I don’t know for sure if the votes are there yet [among the owners] or not. But there is momentum. A lot of people seem in favor of it.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell has addressed the notion in recent press conferences, but he hasn't put a timetable on matters. He is believed to support the notion.

“I do think the commissioner wants it,” the source said. “I’m not exactly sure when it might get voted in. But if the commissioner wants it, I assume it’ll happen at some point.”

According to the Post, the 2015 season is the most likely date for a new playoff format to come into effect. 

As has been previously reported, the addition of two playoff teams likely would mean only one team per conference gets a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Six games would be played on Wild Card weekend -- and it's likely at least one would be on the Monday night.

Also mentioned in the Post's article is that the league has essentially abandoned its push for an 18-game regular season.

Jan 21, 6:10 PM

Roger Goodell: NFL to consider playoff games on Friday, Monday with possible expansion

Jan 21, 6:10 PM

After it emerged earlier this month the the NFL was considering amending its playoff structure to allow another team from each conference to qualify, questions were immediately asked about how the extra Wild Card games would fit into the schedule.

In an interview with Rich Eisen of NFL Network on Monday, Goodell said there have been discussions about introducing Friday and Monday night games into an expanded post-season schedule.

“The big discussion would be the first weekend, the wild card weekend of the playoffs, how would you structure that? Three on Saturday, three on Sunday? We’re looking at every alternative, and I think that’s what the membership ultimately is going to have to decide,” Goodell said. “Would you play a game on Friday night, two on Saturday, two on Sunday and another on Monday?”

The obvious issue here is that in either situation, some teams will be tasked with playing on a short week.

“These are the kind of things that have to be balanced,” Goodell said.

Jan 7, 8:22 PM

Roger Goodell: NFL may expand playoff field, will not re-seed based on record

Jan 7, 8:22 PM

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the league is considering expanding the field of playoff teams by adding one in each conference Tuesday, but he stamped out any possibility of re-seeding the playoffs to award teams with the best records home games (rather than division winners). 

Goodell made the comments while speaking at a community center in New York City Tuesday.

Jan 6, 10:30 AM

Adding additional playoff teams would still need owners' approval

Jan 6, 10:30 AM

Reports surfaced early Monday morning that the NFL was planning to add an additional playoff team to each conference, but according to the league nothing has been decided and a proposal such as that would need owner's approval.

"There been no such decision. It would require a vote of the clubs and it has not yet been taken up with them. If it’s taken up this year, it would happen at the annual meeting in March. The agenda for the meeting has not been formulated."

Jan 6, 9:43 AM

Report: NFL planning to add additional playoff team in each conference

Jan 6, 9:43 AM

There has long been rumors that the NFL had plans to tinker with its playoff format and according to NBC Football Night in America host Dan Patrick, it's about to become a reality.

Patrick has reportedly been told from a source that the league is planning to add an additional wild card team in both the AFC and NFC.

Sep 29, 1:17 PM

Report: NFL considering expanded playoff format

Sep 29, 1:17 PM

The NFL is considering expanding the current playoff format to include 14 teams, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

The new plan would reduce the preseason to three games, using the extra week for a new round of playoffs. 

In an interview earlier in the week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested the league might move in this direction, but that it would not happen in 2014. The report from ESPN says that 2014 is still a possibility if the owners vote it in.