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NFL Playoffs could be changing as early as next season if new CBA is agreed upon

There could be a significant change to the NFL Playoff system if there is a new CBA signed soon.

Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The NFL and the NFLPA are working out the details of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Those details aren’t just bumps in the road, but some are considered huge hurdles in the two parties not experiencing a lockout as they did the last time a CBA was set to expire.

As the NFLPA and the NFL try to iron out a new deal, they hope to achieve these results before the new league year begins on March 18th. If a new deal isn’t struck by then labor peace will be put off until after the 2020 season.

The clock is ticking...

But news of what the two sides are discussing are starting to come to light. One of which would be a change in the current playoff situation, and this would occur as early as next season.

This per Adam Schefter of ESPN:

Seven teams, compared to the traditional six, would mean only one team per conference would get a first round bye, and the other four teams would then participate in Wild Card weekend.

It would be different, and would obviously involve one more team into the postseason, something I doubt any owner or player would argue about.

But there are other issues at hand. Check out some other burning topics during negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano:

The current proposal would allow the league to expand the regular season from 16 games to 17 games at some point in the next four years (though no sooner than 2021) in exchange for financial and other concessions the players have sought in negotiations.

The league’s desire to expand the regular season from 16 games to 17 games has met with harsh opposition from many players, who view an expanded season as an unnecessary increase in the risk to players’ health and safety. As a result, a deal that looked bound for ratification as recently as two months ago has encountered some peril with less than a month to go before the start of the 2020 league year. Union leaders have touted to players the benefits of the proposed new deal, which includes a higher percentage of league revenue going to players, improvements in the drug policy and discipline policy, higher minimum salaries, higher per-team spending floors and relaxed offseason work rules.

One of the concessions players have been seeking since CBA talks began last year has been an increase in the minimum salary, which applies to a significant chunk of the league’s population. Under the proposed new CBA, sources tell ESPN, NFL minimum salaries would rise by roughly 25 percent. For example, the minimum salary for rookies in 2020 was scheduled to be $510,000. Under the new CBA, which would begin in 2020 and run through 2029, that figure would rise to $640,000. The minimum for players with one year of experience would jump from $585,000 to around $730,000. And so on up to the 10-year veteran minimum, which is currently scheduled to be $1.045 million in 2020 but would rise to roughly $1.3 million.

But sources say the players who are opposed to a 17-game season have pushed back and asked the union to demand further concessions from owners, particularly in the area of offseason and training camp work rules.

What are your thoughts on the CBA negotiations, and the changes to the playoff format? Let us know in the comment section below!


More details, per Schefter: