NFL will add playoff team to each conference beginning this seasonFebruary 28, 2020
The Chiefs earned a first-round bye on the last day of the 2019 regular season on their way to the Lombardi Trophy. That quite possibly could mark the final season of two teams getting byes in each conference.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement proposal, the NFL would add a playoff team to each conference beginning this season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
That means only the team with the best record in each conference would receive a bye during wild-card weekend. It would add two games — one from each conference — to wild-card weekend for a total of six games on the first weekend of the postseason.
The expanded playoffs was an easy sell to the players, according to Schefter, unlike increasing the number of regular-season games to 17.
The NFL currently has 12 playoff teams — eight division winners and four wild-card teams. The two teams in each conference with the best records receive the byes into the divisional round.
The Ravens and Chiefs earned byes in the AFC in 2019, and the 49ers and Packers did the same in the NFC.
Under the old CBA, players on teams that earned a first-round bye did not receive postseason pay that weekend. They will under the new agreement, according to Schefter.
There is growing optimism the sides soon could finalize a new CBA, with owners meeting in New York this week and the Players Association conducting a conference call with player reps.