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NFL CBA talks: Expanding playoffs to 7 teams, and regular season to 17 games?

A breakdown of the latest CBA talks and how it impacts the Browns.

Cleveland Browns Introduce Kevin Stefanski Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

On Wednesday, several reports came out about changes being proposed in the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement for the NFL. Here is a summary of what we know, based on those reports:

Timeline of Agreement

  • The current CBA expires in March 2021. However, owners and players would love to get a deal done this year, to prevent the stress of worrying about a work stoppage like we nearly had in 2011.
  • All 32 NFL owners will meet Thursday in New York City to review the current CBA proposal, and it’s possible they could vote on it too. If they vote, they need 34 of the owners to approve it.

Main Proposals

  • The 17-game proposal is still included, with the preseason being reduced to 3 games. If approved, it’s interesting to note that the approval would give the league “the option” to expand to 17 games, but that it probably wouldn’t occur until the 2021 or 2022 season. More details on player revenue increases based on 16 vs. 17 games can be found here.
  • The big news that came out is that the NFL wants there to be 7 playoff teams in each conference, with only 1 team receiving a first-round bye. There would be 3 wildcard games per conference on Wildcard Weekend. Perhaps most surprising of all is that the change would go into effect for the upcoming 2020 season!
  • I think the NFL playoff system is fine as it is. But it sounds like owners and players are on board with the change, because it means more opportunity for money and more chances at making a Super Bowl.
  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network has a few more smaller details about proposed CBA changes here. More general details from Adam Schefter are here.

NFLPA’s Decision

  • If the owners move fast to approve the CBA proposal on Thursday, then it goes to the NFLPA. They have a conference call scheduled for Friday, where it’s possible that they vote on the CBA as well. If 23 of players reps approve it, then the CBA would go to a vote for all players, where a majority vote is needed to make if official.

What do you think of the proposed changes, Browns fans? Would you be in favor of 7 playoff teams making it in the AFC this upcoming season?


Would you like to see the NFL expand from 6 to 7 playoff teams per conference?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Yes, I love it
    (133 votes)
  • 38%
    Meh, I guess I’m fine either way
    (119 votes)
  • 18%
    No! Please, it’s perfect as is!
    (58 votes)
310 votes total Vote Now