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NFL proposes expanding regular season, playoffs, per report

Posted at 7:52 PM, Feb 19, 2020

The NFL is asking the NFLPA to agree to expanding the number of regular season games from 16 to 17, and to expand the playoff field from 12 to 14, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

The agreement would go into effect for the 2021 season at the earliest, if players agree to the proposal.

As a result of the expanded regular season, the number of preseason games would decrease by one.

Under the current playoff format, the top two teams from each conference earn a bid into the conference semifinals, also known as the Divisional Round. The NFL's proposal would only give the conference champs the first-round bye past the Wild Card round.

A league source told ESPN that there is general agreement between players and owners on expanding the playoffs.

Collective bargaining talks will take place on Thursday, the NFL said. While players seem to accept an expanded playoff format, based on ESPN's reporting, there is still some contention on expanding the regular season to 17 games.

The NFL said it hopes to have a new CBA in place by the middle of next month.

The current CBA expires at the end of the 2020 season.