There is a lot of interest in expanding the NFL playoffs but it appears that plan may meet some resistance from the player’s association. Union executive George Atallah said during a conference call Monday that playoff expansion would be subject to collective bargaining. That means adding a seventh team in each conference will be much more different than previously thought.
The union has been against adding two games to the regular season schedule for a long time and while adding a seventh team to the playoffs wouldn’t change much with the schedule to the season, Atallah and company obviously have some objections to the plan. It would change the course for 106 players only if you count two 53-team rosters. However, any changes to the schedule whether regular season or playoffs needs to be agreed on by the players.
The plan for Roger Goodell was to have the two extra teams in place by 2015 but if talks need to be held in accordance with the CBA, that plan will likely need to be tabled for a later time until each side can agree to the specifics. The NFL is nearing a point however where the playoffs are going to make the regular season worthless like the NBA and NHL has become to a point with 16 teams making the playoffs in each of those leagues. Goodell would probably love to have an 18-game regular season along with seven playoff teams in each conference. The problem with that scenario would be the regular season would need to start in early to mid-August going all the way until Super Bowl Sunday in February.
The expansion would put 14 teams in the playoffs out of 32 teams. Atallah and Goodell need to get on the same page sooner than later so this situation doesn’t keep coming up. The players deserve to have a voice in this just like the owners want to make more money. The fans, players and owners will now once again play the waiting game to see what the next move is with playoff expansion. It could be 2016 or 2017 before anything happens until plans move forward quickly.