The state of the NFL is about to change forever! There have been rumblings from NFL insiders on what the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could look like, and if this does get approved by owners and players, get ready for an extra week of RedZone with Scott Hanson.
Some of the financial aspects of this may get players to put pen to paper. As part of the current agreement players earn 47% of the revenue split. If this gets ratified, the players go to potentially 48.5% with an agreement on a 17 game schedule. That bump could mean an extra $5 billion going to the players.
Along with a 17 game schedule, other notable items in the proposed CBA include the 4th preseason game being scratched for the extra regular season game and a 7th playoff team being added to each conference. While many fans are intrigued by the potential addition of playoff teams and games, JJ Watt tweeted out Thursday that he was a hard no on the proposed CBA. This CBA could take a while to get agreement from owners and players. For the sake of intrigue what would the league look like if the CBA got approved?
Is there a need for a 7th team in a conference playoff? That of course can be left up for discussion with how some of the teams that just missed the postseason finished. Since 2003, 60 teams finished with an 8-8 record, 34 teams finished with a 9-7 record and only 9 teams finished the season 10-6 only to miss the playoffs. There are going to be those crazy years like the Patriots experienced in 2008 going 11-5 and missing the NFL’s second season. One thing to be mindful of is oversaturation, football fans need to be left wanting more while not always getting it.
ONLY the top seed would receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Something surprising that was pointed out by fellow writer on this site Mike Quilty, in 2004 both New England and Pittsburgh were vying for the top spot in the AFC. The Steelers were 15-1 and the Patriots were 14-2, which means had this happened now, only the Steelers would receive the bye and the Patriots would have to play Wild Card Weekend.
Since 2012 the winner of the Super Bowl had a bye in the playoffs, which means the 17th regular season game could have even more meaning for the top teams in each conference. As Patriots fans, we all know the impact of the bye week, including five trips to the Super Bowl and three victories in the big game over the past decade.
If this proposal is agreed to by owners and players we all win as football fans. A non playoff team’s fan base that is usually watching the playoffs passively because their team misses the postseason could have a glimmer of hope, while the players can also make more money with bonuses. Football is the one sport where every game means something, and the NFL knows that we’ll come back each week looking for more while they keep adding more.
Now the waiting game to see if this actually gets done….