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Roger Goodell: Postseason expansion ‘will likely happen at some point’

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Roger Goodell has been pushing for the NFL to expand its postseason for years. And during a town hall meeting with Jacksonville Jaguars season-ticket holders last weekend, the NFL commissioner not only reiterated his desire to increase the amount of teams that qualify for the playoffs, he indicated it “will likely happen at some point.”

Given that it has been over 25 years since the NFL altered its playoff format, it’s clear not everybody in a position to decide such a change shares Goodell’s point of view. Perhaps that is why Goodell stresses that every angle will need to be examined before any alteration to the playoff setup is made.

“It will likely happen at some point,” Goodell said, via the Jaguars’ official website, by way of Eye on Football. “But we want to be really cautious because we really like the balance we have with the importance of the regular season and the postseason.”

The NFL postseason was expanded in 1990 from 10 teams to 12 teams. It’s unclear how many teams would be added if the league decided to move forward on expansion.

But Goodell did admit that a 12-team playoff is in some ways ideal for fielding an exciting postseason in that it doesn’t water down the importance of the regular season.

“It works so well right now [with 12 teams],” he said. “I think that what makes the NFL great is every game means so much. You don’t ever want to lose that. You don’t want to lose the fact that every regular-season game is important. Only having 12 teams qualify, which is the smallest of any of the professional leagues by far, that’s a good thing for us.”

There are obviously many issues that the NFL will need to address before going forward with any postseason expansion, including those related to the broadcasting of additional games on Wild Card Weekend, not to mention the challenge of getting the NFLPA on board.

Goodell may be facing an uphill battle to increase the number of teams that qualify for the playoffs. And despite an apparent resistance to a potential change, the commissioner certainly isn’t ready to give up on his goal just yet.