If NFL fans wanted to see expanded playoffs in 2014, their hopes have been dashed. The NFL owners tabled discussions about an expanded playoff system until their fall meeting meaning that the playoffs will remain with 12 teams for the 2014 season. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Tuesday that he does expect the playoffs to expand for the 2015 season however. The next group of owners meetings comes in mid-October in Detroit and 24 of the 32 owners would have to approve of the change.
The problem that could have developed from this was allowing subpar or sub-.500 teams into the postseason. Most people are against the idea of bringing two more teams into the playoffs but this boils down to money in the end and the fact that the TV revenue from two more games could be massive for the league. The last time the playoffs expanded was in 1990 when a sixth team from each conference as added. Here is Goodell speaking about the idea of the expanded playoffs.
There are going to be some things that must be addressed however before October if this is going to happen though. The two teams that play in the Super Bowl have the potential of playing 24 games under this proposal with four preseason games, 16 regular season games and four playoff games. The NFLPA is going to want to cut the preseason likely in half for this proposal to go through. That could be the biggest stumbling block at this point in time.
The owners did approve moving PATs back to the 15-yard line for the Hall of Fame Game and the first two weeks of the preseason in 2014. That could be the first step towards being a permanent thing as opposed to something just in the preseason. That is something that must be watched for in the coming months especially at the next owners’ meetings.
Also, the owners will address where and when the NFL Draft will be for 2015 at their next meeting after forming a committee on the topic. It would appear that New York could be out of the picture with other big cities wanting the three or potentially four-day event. The draft could also be moved up a week or back a week next season after concerns this season about it being so close to Mother’s Day as well.
The focus right now is about the playoffs though. It appears it will happen sooner than later whether it is 14 teams or even 16 teams at some point. The next owners meetings will be very important to the future of the sport.