The NFL is proposing some some changes for next season, and they include going from six playoff teams per conference to seven, with only the top seed getting a bye. Eliminating one preseason game to add a 17th regular season one is also on the table. The regular season expansion has been talked about for a while now, with many owners reportedly pushing for the extra game, but some are surprised about the playoff format being altered and many players have been outspoke about not wanting these changes.
Houston Texans star JJ Watt said he is a "hard no" on the the proposed CBA and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has encouraged him, as well as others, to take leadership and voice their opinions. The players have expressed they want to see a more even distribution of the money and benefits and want longer health coverage in retirement.
Some have proposed an extra bye week and want more focus on their safety rather than extra games.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the changes would come under the current CBA proposal and go into effect in the upcoming season.
Had the seven-team playoff format been around last year, the 9-7 Los Angeles Rams and 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers would have made the playoffs. You can make your own judgements on whether you wanted to see that.
Are there any downfalls to expanding the NFL playoffs? The Pick Six Superfriends debate new proposed schedule changes to the CBA.
With the bye weeks diminishing to one per conference, this means the last two Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs last year and the New England Patriots the year before, would not have qualified for a bye week and would have seen an extra game in the playoffs.
If this all does end up happening, it will be the first big schedule/alignment adjustment the NFL has made since 2002, when the league split into eight divisions with four teams each after the Houston Texans joined the league.
Football fans obviously love football, so wouldn't they be excited about more football? It's not that simple, as many players and fans pointed out on social media after the new of the potentials changes dropped.
Here are some of the best reactions:
Watt is a definite no on the proposed changes and tweeted his feelings for all to see.
Hard no on that proposed CBA.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 21, 2020
Sherman responded to the tweet, agreeing with him and encouraging the defensive end to express these feelings with his team's representative.
Leadership! I am with you! Please communicate with your team rep. https://t.co/JucZbwqoa2— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 21, 2020
Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett wants changes to the share percentage, asking for it to be 50/50.
Let’s do 50/50 https://t.co/CGyI6RVNg8— Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) February 20, 2020
Quandre Diggs agreed.
50/50 https://t.co/41Dsn2UvYp— Nino (@qdiggs6) February 20, 2020
In a now deleted tweet, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams wrote, "More Regular Season Games + More Playoff Games = More money for the league & players, everyone wins." Sherman was there to remind him to look at the big picture, though.
Call me brother. It’s never that simple. Gotta go deeper than that in this. https://t.co/e9sHLrkZuo— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 20, 2020
The always outspoken Sherman started a conversation between current and former NFL players, who chimed in with their thoughts.
It’s a long term play. Can’t be shortsighted— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 20, 2020
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon asked NFL players, "So y'all really wanna play a 17 game season? Just asking."
Eric Weddle replied with a to the point, "Nope!!!!"
Nope!!!!— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) February 21, 2020
Vontae Davis thinks this proposal is not beneficial for the player's health.
Football is a physically and mentally demanding game. NFL proposing to increase season games does nothing but enhance the health risk of players longterm.— Vontae Davis (@vontaedavis) February 21, 2020
Michael Thomas just laughed at the whole thing.
YEAH AIGHT 😂 https://t.co/ddV4AkbAAz— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) February 20, 2020
Jarvis Landry joked about the XFL.
Look like y’all better start getting y’all XFL tv packages together!!— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) February 21, 2020
Allen Robinson wants the whole thing ripped up.
Rip it up! https://t.co/4bp5Aml88a— Allen Robinson II (@AllenRobinson) February 20, 2020
Leonard Fournette just plains disagrees.
I disagree with the 17 games— 7⃣ Leonard Fournette (@_fournette) February 20, 2020
Damien Woody has some questions ...
Seems like the owners are really trying to push this CBA through....which raises antennas as a former player— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 20, 2020
Geoff Schwartz encouraged Sherman to enlighten the players who might be blinded by the short-term benefits of this change.
I’m trying to. They are just going and the League plays to that. You know their tactics— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 20, 2020
The former offensive lineman also made it a point to say the players need better money and more benefits if they are going to be subject to more games.
If the NFL gets 2 extra playoff teams and 17 games, the players better get some freaking money/better benefits. Like 50/50. We accept all the risk and all of these additions benefit the owners pockets mightily.— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) February 19, 2020
Former NFL punter Pat McAfee did not just want Sherman to enlighten the players. Instead, he wanted everyone to hear why this might not be a great idea for the league.
Hey boss, I think the world deserves to hear why it isn’t a win-win as is. If you ever feel the want to let folks know, I’d be honored to chat with you about that, betting on yourself and getting a massive bag, making the Super Bowl again and such.. Cheers man.— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 20, 2020
Sherman's responded saying:
Pat as a former player I believe you know why. But I would love to get back on and have a conversation about it but it’s going to be tough time wise right now. Preciate you as always https://t.co/sI3RF1FdsM— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 20, 2020
Damien Woody just wants to know what was so bad about what we had before.
Lemme ask this question....what is wrong with the current NFL playoff format? I don’t like change for the sake of change— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 20, 2020
The new format would allow a mediocre team to strut into the playoffs and some fans want to keep the postseason more exclusive.
A 7-9 team walking into the playoffs next season like pic.twitter.com/mVsfpBoLTY— Tra Andrews (@TraAndrews16) February 19, 2020
Dallas Cowboys fans might not be too mad about these changes, though.
The 6-10 Cowboys walking into the playoffs under the new 7-team playoff format next year pic.twitter.com/Xvaq0XA3zw— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) February 20, 2020
The Cleveland Browns could make history.
Pretty excited for the Browns to be the NFL's first 0-17 team.— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) February 20, 2020
Some had no words for the new formats and leaned on gifs to express their thoughts.
SEVEN?! pic.twitter.com/g7pGZamuaS— Vountee - Seattle Dragon longtime fan (@vountee) February 19, 2020
This is not exactly what fans have been asking for...
Fans: “We were wondering if maybe there could be more transparency in officiating and instant repl-“— Not My President (@KingFavre) February 20, 2020
NFL: “17 GAMES. 44% OF THE LEAGUE MAKES THE PLAYOFFS.” pic.twitter.com/BLKkszjnPl
Asking for the league to fix the officiating before making any other changes was a common theme here.
Hey @NFL maybe instead of tweaking the playoffs (which not one person had a problem with) we could focus on the HORRIFIC officiating that was displayed all season? Before we worry about who’s in the playoffs let’s make sure they get there fairly? @NFLOfficiating maybe? Anyone?— erin (@erinh1110) February 20, 2020
To sum it all up, in the words of Jim Mora: "Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs! Are you kiddin' me? Playoffs?!"