The NFL reportedly could be making major changes to the playoff format when the new collective bargaining agreement is finalized.
When the year 2021 rolls around, NFL fans may witness a massive change to January football.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement could be finalized in the next week or so. And within this new agreement — which the NFL owners are pushing for — the league is expected to include significant changes to the postseason format.
Schefter reports that the league would expand the format to include seven teams from either conference. Thus, only one team from both the AFC and NFC would possess a first-round bye. That would mean six wild-card games would be held, with a trio of matchups on both Saturday and Sunday of the first January weekend.
These changes would go into effect for the upcoming season. A source close to the agreement noted that the new playoff format has been “agreed to for a long time. There wasn’t a lot of disagreement to that issue,” per Schefter.
But it doesn’t stop there. The league is also considering a change to the regular-season schedule. This alteration would increase the number of games for each team from 16 to 17. NFL players still have to sign off on this though.
According to Schefter, the earliest the NFL could make the switch to a 17-game regular-season schedule — which would then lead to a three-game preseason slate — would be the 2021 campaign. Nonetheless, it’s still something the owners are attempting to work towards.