The 2007 Cleveland Browns were robbed of the sixth and final playoff seed in the AFC during the final week of the season.
Thanks, Jim Sorgi.
Now, however, the NFL is considering expanding the playoff field which would have allowed that Browns team to make a run over a decade ago.
All 32 NFL owners will be meeting today in New York City to vote on and review the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement proposal.
What Are The Changes?
Within the new CBA proposal is a new 17-game regular season that also reduced the preseason to just three games.
This part of the proposal has been talked about by both fans and the league for quite some time now, so this is nothing new.
What is new, however, is the NFL expanding the playoff field to now include seven teams from each conference.
With the expanded field, Wild Card weekend would now include six games, three on both Saturday and Sunday.
Additionally, only the top seed from each conference will receive a first-round bye as opposed to the two-team format we have currently.
The 17-game season would most likely not come into play for another season or two.
The new playoff format, however, would be placed into effect immediately for the upcoming season.
Had this been in play last year, both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams would have been playoff teams.
Now, imagine what the field could have looked like back in 2007.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) February 20, 2020
Despite the potential excitement the new changes would provide, Mike Silver of Sports Illustrated reported yesterday that the new proposals being approved is far from a guarantee.
NFL owners have been summoned to New York for a meeting later this week regarding the status of labor negotiations with the NFLPA. Significant progress has been made toward a new CBA, but the two sides remain far apart on some outstanding issues…
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) February 19, 2020
If the owners move to vote on the proposals, approval will come from a 3/4 vote.
The NFLPA receives the proposal if the owners approve, where 2/3 of player reps must approve as well as a majority vote from all players.
The NFLPA has a conference call taking place tomorrow.
Adam Schefter of ESPN also provided more details on the new CBA as well, including revenue share percentages among other things.
Impact on the Browns
Obviously, these changes would shake up the NFL, but how would it impact the Browns?
As mentioned, these proposed changes would have been nice to have back in ’07.
But, the current Browns can still benefit from this as well.
The Baltimore Ravens will likely be favorites to repeat as AFC North champions, and the Steelers will be getting Ben Roethlisberger back.
Winning the divisional crown will be tough, so a Wild Card spot could be the Browns’ best shot at getting in.
However, the Bills will be tough again next season, as will the Titans and Texans as far as probable Wild Card teams go.
Plus, each season tends to surprisingly bring at least one team out of the woods and into playoff contention.
Point is, making the postseason is far from easy for Cleveland.
They found that out the hard way in 2019.
With 2020 sure to bring some more growing pains with a new head coach and coaching staff, an expanded playoff field might benefit the team’s playoff chances.
What do you think Browns fans?
Are you in favor of the new CBA proposals?
Let us know in the comment section what you think!