It is rumored that a new collective bargaining agreement could be signed before the beginning of March. If this new CBA proposal is passed, the NFL would have a new pre-season and regular season schedule, as well as a new playoff format.
If passed, the pre-season would move from 4 games to 3 games and then regular season would go from a 16 game schedule to a 17 game schedule. This has yet to be confirmed since the players still need to sign off on it and would not take effect until 2021 at the earliest. If the players do sign off on the 17-game schedule, there would be 5 billion dollars worth of revenue that would go to the players’ side.
This new playoff format would go from 6 teams in each conference making the playoffs to 7 teams in each conference. Rather than 2 teams getting a bye, only 1 would. That also means that there would be 3 games in each conference on wild card weekend. It is possible that this new format, if passed, would take effect this season! Another big change would be that the players on the each team that has a bye would receive pay for that weekend. Currently, players that have been on a team that has a bye have not received postseason pay.
As a fan, I think going from a 4 game to 3 game pre-season is great. It is something fans have been asking for for a while. I know if I watch a pre-season game, it is only for the starters and the starters never play week 4 anyways. Additionally, they should start the season a week earlier. As for injuries: yes, it is less likely for a star to get injured in the pre-season, but again, they don’t play week 4 so it could also increase the chance an injury occurs. Regardless, I am fully on board with a longer regular season.
First off, I think it’s absurd that players on a team that has a bye do not receive pay for that week. I did not know that and I understand why a lot of players easily agreed to the new playoff format. Like the new regular season schedule, I am fully on board with another team making the playoffs. More football — that’s all I care about. Specifically, because I know my Panthers won’t be back in the playoffs for a couple of years. Hopefully the CBA is agreed upon and ratified before the season, so this new playoff format can begin. Football just ended and I am already looking forward to August.