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NFL schedule to expand to 17 games under new CBA

The playoff field will also expand to 14 teams.
Everson Griffen

The National Football League's schedule will expand to 17 games beginning in 2021 and two more playoff teams will be added to the field as the player's association agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement on Sunday morning.

The deal, which runs for 10 years beginning with the 2020 season, gives players an increased share of revenue and added benefits off the field, but the biggest difference for fans will be what happens on it.

According to CBS Sportsline's Jason La Canfora, the 17-game schedule will still put the NFL's opening week after Labor Day and wrap up with the Super Bowl in the final week of February.

The deal will also give teams two bye weeks with the extra game being played "out of market" and focused around international venues such as London, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil.

La Canfora also reported that the NFL might consider playing some of its games in cities without a professional team, such as playing games at stadiums of college powerhouses like Notre Dame and Alabama.

The other notable change will be the expansion of playoff teams from 12 to 14. Each conference will now have seven playoff teams with the top seed receiving a bye and six wild-card games being played on the opening weekend.

For a team like the Vikings, the addition of an extra playoff spot is significant as there have been several seasons where Minnesota has either just missed the playoffs or gained the second wild card in the NFC.

With the CBA now in the rearview mirror, teams will now focus on the start of the league year, which is currently scheduled to begin on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

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