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NFL playoff format expected to remain the same

Commissioner Roger Goodell gestures to fans before a

Commissioner Roger Goodell gestures to fans before a game between the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys in East Rutherford, N.J. (Sept. 5, 2012) Credit: AP

INDIANAPOLIS -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently floated the idea of an expanded playoff format -- adding two teams to make it 14 for the postseason -- but it appears the current format will remain in place.

Giants co-owner John Mara, who is on the league's Competition Committee, said Thursday that the committee discussed an expanded playoff format and will continue discussions next month. He added, "My sense is that while there is some support for expanding, there is not enough to get 24 votes."

A minimum of 24 owners would have to approve any change in the current system, which includes six playoff teams from each conference.

Mara said the Competition Committee is not expected to recommend any changes to the current kickoff format. There have been suggestions to further limit kickoffs to cut down on injuries, but Mara said injuries on kickoffs have decreased the last two years since kickoffs were moved to the 35-yard line from the 30.

Offseason moves?

The NFL is considering changes to its offseason calendar and having all 32 teams start training camp on the same day. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the league is mulling the idea of moving the scouting combine, currently being held in Indianapolis, to March and moving the start of free agency (currently set to begin March 12) to April. The draft, currently held in late April, then might be moved to May.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said of possible changes to the calendar: "The season structure and year-round calendar are analyzed and discussed every year. There is nothing more to it than that at this point.'' Flynn on the move?

Seahawks GM John Schneider hinted that he'd be open to trading quarterback Matt Flynn, who signed a three-year, $19.5-million deal last year but was beaten out by rookie Russell Wilson. "I feel very blessed that we have two quarterbacks, two starting-caliber guys," Schneider said. "What happened last year didn't really have a reflection on what Matt did . . . It was really what Russell did in terms of just kind of stepping forward and taking charge."

Sorry, ChiefThere has been speculation that new Chiefs coach Andy Reid might deal for quarterback Nick Foles, who played for Reid in 2012. "Listen, Nick is the property of the Philadelphia Eagles,'' Reid said, "and I think they like him."

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