The NFL postseason might be expanding as soon as next season.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL and the NFLPA's current new collective bargaining agreement proposal would boost the sport's postseason from six teams per conference to seven. In addition, only one team from each conference would receive a first-round bye, according to Schefter, as opposed to two.
The new CBA, per Schefter, could be completed "sometime in the next week" and the postseason format changes would take effect in the 2020 season, if the deal was ratified in necessary time.
"That's been agreed to for a long time," one source familiar with the CBA talks told ESPN. "There wasn't a lot of disagreement to that issue."
The result of expanded postseason would mean playing six games total on Wild Card weekend.
The sides are reportedly still trying to figure out a number of issues, including the length of the regular season schedule. Schefter reports that the parties have not yet agreed on a 17-game campaign and that it wouldn't take effect until 2021 at the earliest.
A 17-game season would be accompanied by just three preseason games. Clark Hunt, chairman of the Kansas City Chiefs, said in mid-November that reducing the preseason is something “everybody would be in favor of.”
"If you replaced a game, perhaps two, with one regular-season game it would give you an odd number of games with 17," Hunt said. "One thought is you could play at least some of those games at a neutral site and obviously internationally would be one way to do that.”
The 10-year CBA agreement between the league and the union runs through the 2020 season and the two parties have been negotiating to try and avoid a work stoppage.