The door for an expanded NFL playoff pool, long viewed as “half shut”, is now officially a closed issue for 2014. NFL Network reporter Kim Jones broke the news that league owners will not vote on league expansion at the one-day Spring Meeting.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, a draft committee will be assembled and the topic will instead be reopened for discussion at the fall owners meeting.
Prospects for future implementation remain high despite the tabling, but large scale design issues must be ironed out. In other words, those seeking a short-term resolution will be left wanting.
There are two key obstacles at play: 1. Even if the owners decide to approve expansion, the players’ union must still follow suit — workers’ compensation is no small detail, and comp law in Louisiana (Saints) is already a point of contention 2. TV RIGHTS. The NFL was built on its grandiose contractual arrangements with the networks, and these of course will need amending with additional teams/rounds in the postseason.
For the moment purists can breathe easy… However, your time of reckoning (14 teams) is inevitably on the horizon. The current 12-team format provides an attractive product and is essentially awesomeness personified, but the NFL will stop at nothing for additional television, gate and new media revenue streams.
In the words of Method Man: “Cash Rules Everything Around Me”