NFL approves 17-game schedule formula, not 17th game
While it has decided to wait on officially adding a 17th regular-season game to the schedule, the NFL agreed Wednesday on a schedule formula when that extra game would be implemented down the road.
NFL owners gathered on a conference call Wednesday, essentially electing to move talks of an expanded schedule to early 2021. An extra game was agreed upon between the league and the players’ union earlier this year, and that additional contest could come as soon as 2021.
“It obviously comes into play with respect with our future media arrangements that we obviously are contemplating,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We expect a decision will be made on that in the next several weeks.”
The league switched to a 16-game regular-season schedule in 1978 after previously playing 14 regular-season games.
When a 17th game is added, it will be an interconference matchup based on standings from the previous season. The extra opponent will also rotate among divisions. The agreement on the schedule formula was reported by NFL Network.
“We had a lengthy discussion on this,” Goodell said. “Obviously, it’s an important decision for us. We did not take any votes with respect to committing to do it. In the collective bargaining agreement, we have that right to do it.”
ESPN reported that Goddell is in favor of reducing the preseason from four games to two, but that concept received push back from prominent owners like Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots and Art Rooney II of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
–Field Level Media