According to Ian Rapoport, the NFL is expected to vote to approve an increase to a 17-game regular season in 2021.
An official announcement could still be a ways away, as per the collective bargaining agreement the NFL must negotiate one new media contract before exercising its option for a 17th game.
But Rapoport says the teams and league are all expecting the move to be made for next season.
Rapoport adds the 17th game should also help the cap situation for next year. The NFL and NFLPA negotiated for any revenue losses from the pandemic to be spread out over multiple seasons, with the cap dropping no lower than $175 million in 2021.
However, a schedule expansion, new media contracts and the player’s revenue portion moving from 47 to 48 percent as a part of the new CBA could all help the cap in 2021.
As a part of the move to 17 games, the preseason would be reduced to three games or perhaps two. Each team would still have one bye week with the regular season moving to 18 weeks and the Super Bowl being pushed back to the second week of February.
The NFL voted to approve the format for the new schedule at the last owners meeting, which will be an interconference game based on divisional standings from the prior season on a rotating basis.
Rapoport says it also adds inventory for the NFL to expand its neutral site and international games in the future.