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Jets owner Woody Johnson latest to favor playoff expansion

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Woody Johnson isn't the only owner to support expanding the playoffs. (USATSI)
Woody Johnson isn't the only owner to support expanding the playoffs. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: League minicamp dates | Latest news, notes

Jets owner Woody Johnson, whose team hasn't made it to the postseason since back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in 2009 and '10, says he's in favor of playoff expansion.

"There are good arguments on both sides, and I haven't gone into it in maybe the depth that we will," Johnson said from Jets minicamp earlier this week, according to Daryl Slater of the Newark Star Ledger. "We're going to study it hard. But I kind of like it. I kind of like the idea of more playoff games. We're still below other sports [in terms of the number of teams that make the playoffs]."

In the three years since their last playoff appearance, the Jets have gone 8-8, 6-10 and 8-8, two games worse than another team whose owner likes the idea of expanding the postseason: the Cowboys' Jerry Jones.

"From the standpoint of looking at how exciting it is for a city or a community to be involved in the playoffs and the fact that you can have a team that might have literally operated at .500 or in that area ... you can have that team win the Super Bowl," Jones, who serves as the Cowboys' owner and general manager, said in January. "That makes a big case for adding a couple of more cities or communities that have NFL teams to the playoffs.

"It just creates that much more excitement and that much more interest for people in those communities," he continued. "So I fall on the side of the ledger that would increase the playoffs."

And just last week, Steelers co-owner and president Art Rooney II echoed similar sentiments.

"We're interested in looking at [playoff expansion]," he said in an interview with Sports Business Daily. "From the Pittsburgh perspective, we have an open mind about it. One more playoff game in the opening round would allow more fans to be alive in the competing cities.”

As for the likelihood that expansion happens, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the topic last month at the league meetings.

"I do believe [playoff expansion] will be approved for the 2015 season. I think we want to see one more year of 'Will it impact the regular season in a positive way, from a competitive standpoint.' Will it create more excitement, more races toward the end? ... And we also want to absorb the additional inventory into the marketplace, from an advertising standpoint. ...

"I spoke to [union president DeMaurice Smith] about it two weeks ago. I think there's a lot of benefits to the players. That' something they'll have to evaluate. ... I do believe this is a real benefit to the players. The revenue, obviously, will increase, and they share in that."

Put another way: It's when, not if.

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