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NFL owners to consider expansion of playoffs

May 20, 2014

In addition to deciding which city will host the 2018 Super Bowl, National Football League owners on Tuesday will try to determine whether to add two more teams to the playoffs.

Owners will discuss the possibility of expanding the playoffs to 14 teams, a proposal brought up at meetings in Florida two months ago. The expansion wouldn’t happen for the upcoming season unless it is approved Tuesday at the owners' spring meeting in Atlanta, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said.

Under the current format, 12 teams make the postseason -- the four division winners and two wild-card teams from each conference. The proposed change would add one more wild-card team each for the AFC and NFC.

The playoffs haven't been expanded since 1990 when the league added two teams.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the addition of two more teams wouldn’t “water down” the playoffs and would help create more chances for teams to win the Super Bowl.

“The way our league is structured, batting .500 or a little over doesn’t in any way preclude them from being outstanding teams and being capable of winning the Super Bowl,” Jones told reporters. “I don’t think it does anything in any way to the quality of our season, but it does add more excitement for more people.”

Currently, 16 of 30 teams in the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association qualify for the playoffs. In Major League Baseball, 10 of 30 teams advance to the postseason.

New Orleans, Indianapolis and Minneapolis are finalists for the 2018 Super Bowl and make their presentations Tuesday. New Orleans has been home to the Super Bowl 10 previous times, while Indianapolis and Minneapolis have each hosted it once.

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