NFL Owners Officially Approve League’s Controversial Playoff Expansion

Starting with this postseason, the playoff field will expand to 14 teams

Roger Goodell Closes All NFL Team Facilities
A view of the NFL logo before the 2020 AFC Championship game.
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty
By Evan Bleier / April 1, 2020 10:39 am

On Tuesday, NFL owners officially voted in a controversial proposal that will water down the league’s postseason with an additional two wild-card teams. Beginning this postseason, only the top-seeded team from each conference will receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs and there will be six games on wild-card weekend instead of four.

Three-fourths of the 32 owners needed to approve the change to a 14-team playoff field and the vote was unanimous, football operations chief Troy Vincent said. The extra two playoff games will be played on CBS and NBC.

All of that is assuming that the NFL starts its regular season on time and is able to hold the playoffs starting in early January as usual. As of now, even though nearly the entire American sports industry is shut down, the league is still saying the season will be business as usual.

During a call with reporters held on Tuesday, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said the league is planning for a full season that will begin on September 10.

“That’s my expectation,” Pash said. “Am I certain? I’m not certain I will be here tomorrow. But I’m planning on it, and I’m planning on a full season.”

Pash also expects NFL games in England and Mexico to go on as planned.

“I expect that international games will be part of our schedule for this year,” he said. “We’re optimistic just as we expect conditions in the United States to permit playing a full season that that will be the case for our international partners as well. Obviously, that’s something that we’ll have to work closely with the authorities, public health and other government authorities in those other countries to make sure it’s entirely safe.”

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