The NFL and NFL Players Association have been negotiating for a new collective bargaining agreement, and while there is still work to be done, a big change could be in store for the coming season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that if a deal gets done this offseason, effective after this coming season, seven teams from each conference would qualify for the playoffs and only one team from each conference would receiver a first round bye.
An extra team from each conference waters down the pool to some degree, but the bigger concern might be the bye decision. A team has not emerged from Wild Card weekend to win the Super Bowl since the Baltimore Ravens following the 2012 season. It’s been mostly one seeds and a handful of two seeds playing in the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl seeds— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) January 20, 2020
But let’s expand the playoffs an extra game and give the first seeds an extra edge
It is not surprising the NFL would want to give another team a playoff berth since it means one more playoff game. With seven teams, No. 2 would face No. 7, No. 3 would face No. 6, and No. 4 would face No. 5, and the NFL brings home more money.
The extra playoff team means another roster gets playoff money, and Schefter is reporting the players on the teams that earn a first-round bye will receive postseason pay for that weekend — which was not the case previously.
If this had been in place last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams would have each earned a playoff bid. I’m not entirely sure anybody outside of Steelers and Rams fans would have cared one way or the other if either was playing in the postseason.