There has been some progress made during the annual NFL meetings this week, most of it drawing some negative reaction. On Wednesday, commissioner Roger Goodell addressed another issue on the table that has drawn its fair share of naysayers in recent months; adding two more teams to the NFL playoffs. And at this point, Goodell seems firmly in favor of making this a reality.
“We had a good discussion on it on several fronts,” Goodell said. “As you know, the Competition Committee has been looking at this for a couple of years. We have discussed it in various committees, including broadcasting. We had a full discussion on the floor with the owners and other executives this week. I think there’s a tremendous amount of interest in this, possibly even to the point of support, but there are also things we still want to make sure we do it right. We’ve been very incremental in trying to do this, but we believe competitively it could make even our races toward the end of our season even more exciting with more teams vying for playoff positions, which is great for our fans. We still want to do some additional work, including talking with the players association. We have a scheduled meeting set for April 8. This will be one of the things we’ll probably discuss and then we’ll also have to talk to broadcast partners and there are some scheduling issues that we still need to work through.”
Playoff expansion has been brought to the forefront in recent years, and it has its supporters and its detractors. From a revenue standpoint, the NFL playoffs are some of the most watched sporting events of the year, so adding two more teams to the fold couldn’t hurt the league.
On the other hand, some see it as watering down the playoffs by having, say, some 8-8 teams just barely getting in and being added to the mix.