NEW YORK — Since 1978, each franchise in the National Football League has played 16 regular season games. In the next couple of days, the league is expected to extend that to 17 starting in the 2021 season.
A little over a year ago, the league and NFL Players Association voted to ratify the latest collective bargaining agreement which already saw an added playoff team from each conference.
According to NFL Networks Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, the league has been working on new media contracts and the decision could be final in the next few days when NFL owners are expected to meet and vote.
With the addition of a 17th game, the NFL season will be adjusted in the following ways:
- Cut preseason down to three games
- Extend season to 18 weeks to account for bye weeks
- Push Super Bowl back to second week of February
ESPN’s Field Yates used a formula reported by NBC Sports’ Peter King to predict the additional regular season games:
|Packers at Chiefs||Bears at Raiders|
|Vikings at Charges||Panthers at Texans|
|Lions at Broncos||Seahawks at Steelers|
|Rams at Ravens||Cardinals at Browns|
|49ers at Bengals||Saints at Titans|
|Buccaneers at Colts||Panthers at Texans|
|Falcons at Jaguars||Washington at Bills|
|Giants at Dolphins||Cowboys at Patriots|
The additional game will be a inter-conference competitive balance match up.
Going off reports, that means we get to see the Aaron Rodgers versus Patrick Mahomes for the first time. The last time the Chiefs and Packers faced off, Mahomes was injured and did not play.
Current and former players reacted to the addition of the game and not everyone is excited.
Adding a 17th game is expected to generate more revenue for the league, meaning an increase in the salary cap.