NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has raised the possibility that the NFL would add another wild-card playoff game as soon as the 2014 season, but the additional playoff game might not happen until 2015 at the earliest.
Giants president John Mara, a member of the NFL's Competition Committee, told Newsday on Tuesday that he didn't expect increasing the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams would happen in time for the upcoming season.
"I don't think it's going to happen this year," Mara said. "I think it's kind of late. We have a May [20th owners] meeting [in Atlanta], but I sense that we'll wait a year before we do that. It hasn't been voted on yet."
Mara said that if a vote for adding one wild-card playoff team for each conference is held at the Atlanta meeting, teams would be notified well in advance. But with less than a month to go before that meeting, it appears unlikely that vote would happen.
"[The league] would notify us in advance, but I'm thinking it's probably not going to happen for another year or so," Mara said. "My guess is that it's going to pass at some point."
Goodell said at last month's owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., that adding two playoff teams "is not out of the question" for 2014. He said the league would discuss the matter at a meeting in early April with representatives from the NFL Players Association. But there was no formal proposal made to the players at that meeting, according to NFLPA spokesman George Atallah and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. Mara indicated the meetings with the union earlier this month focused on "respecting the workplace" in the wake of a bullying situation last season involving several Dolphins players and other team staff members.
Goodell said last month that there is a "tremendous amount of interest in this, possibly even to the point of support," for adding playoff teams. But with time running out on making a final decision, it appears that support might have to wait until next season at the earliest.