A new collective bargaining agreement are being debated between league owners and the NFLPA. Although, there are quite a few players that are against the new potential agreement. With that in mind, there are a lot of positives and negatives when it comes to a governing document that affects the livelihood of the players.
This new agreement would extend the regular season to 17 games with no extra bye week. There would be a limit to the amount of international games teams play. The minimum salary for rookies would increase by $100,000. The amount of training camp practices will be reduced from 28 to 16.
All of these changes won’t go into effect until the 2021 season. But one of the more intriguing changes is extending the playoff format from 12 to 14 teams. This would have directly affected the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 since they were the only team in the NFL with a winning record that didn’t make the playoffs. It is fun to imagine what could have been if they were able to squeak their way in and fight another day.
This format can definitely benefit the Rams next season and beyond. The NFC West is a powerhouse division where every game is a coin flip. Take the Rams’ Week 5 Seattle Seahawks matchup for example, it came down to a great drive and a missed field goal at the end of regulation. In Week 16, the Rams fell just short to the NFC Champions, the San Francisco 49ers. All the signs point to the 2020 NFC West teams continuing to develop and challenging one another. Having that little extra cushion to drop a close divisional game in the first half of the season and still make the postseason sounds nice.
The Rams could also find themselves the top seed in the NFC with the talent they have. If the ball bounces their way throughout the season, the Rams will be hosting the playoffs at SoFi Stadium. This is a big deal because with the new format because only the No. 1 seed in each conference would earn a first round bye. With that in mind, it makes each week a virtual must-win, but at the same time it’s not the end of the season if they drop a game or two in the first two-thirds of the season.
With the state of the Rams’ roster, the NFC West and the NFC as a whole, everyone benefits from the expanded playoff format. It will bring even more tension to an already intense divisional rivalries. It gives more teams a chance to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.