There was a conference call with the NFL and the major media members discussing the upcoming calendar events. The owners confirmed via a vote on the teleconference that there would be expanded playoffs after the 2020 season. There will now be one bye per conference. The playoff format will not change, but we’ll see three division winners each host a wildcard game. There will be three games on Saturday and three games on Sunday.
Pro Football Talk’s Michael Smith tweeted that tucked within the NFL’s announcement of the two additional playoff games is that one of those games will broadcast on CBS but also on Nickelodeon, with a separately produced telecast geared toward a younger audience. Keenan and Kel on the broadcast? Sign me up for that. Seriously, though, that is going to be a site to see.
Changes to the draft
NFL executive Peter O’Reilly said that next month’s draft would focus on good role modeling, with teams and players in homes. Teams are not allowed to have more than ten people in every room, and they must be six feet apart as well as have good hand hygiene. Anyone with fever or upper respiratory illness must stay away.
The league will also use all three days of the NFL Draft to support and raise money for the most vulnerable and others in need amidst the coronavirus. Another NFL executive and former Philadelphia Eagle cornerback Troy Vincent said the competition committee is discussing potential changes to the draft. Those include a one-time option of extending by one to two minutes of the deadline to complete a trade, given some of the challenges that general managers around the league voiced surrounding the draft.
Will there be a season?
Another NFL executive Jeff Pash said this about the upcoming NFL Season: Our planning, our expectation, is fully directed at playing a full season starting on schedule and having a full regular season and a full set of playoffs. Am I certain? I’m not certain that I’ll be here tomorrow. But I’m planning on it.”
Pash said the May 18-20 meeting in California is still on the calendar, though everything is subject to change. Pash also said he expects international games will be part of the schedule in 2020. Optimistic conditions will permit the season to go forward here and abroad. Pash answered the majority of follow-up questions by saying the focus is to start the season on time and playing in front of fans, in regular stadiums, and have a full regular season and playoffs.