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The NFL is proposing expanded playoffs and a longer season. Here's how it affects the Seahawks.

Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

The Seahawks playing the Rams in Brazil? CenturyLink Field hosting a playoff game in February?

Both are among things that theoretically could happen if all of the items proposed by the NFL as part of a new collective bargaining agreement with league players are approved.

A half-dozen or so reports broke late Wednesday afternoon about what is included in proposals by the league to the players.

Those include a 17-game regular season, expanding the playoffs to include seven teams in each conference (instead of the current six) and having only the No. 1 seed in each conference get a bye instead of the top two seeds.

According to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora, the extra regular-season game for each team would be played "out of market," or at a neutral site, including the current international games in London and Mexico City but also the possibility of places such as Brazil, Germany, Canada or U.S. cities that don't have NFL teams.

La Canfora reported the league has also proposed having just two preseason games but allowing each team to schedule a scrimmage with another team that could be open to fans and played in a stadium, and that there would be two byes.

 

The upshot of lengthening the season would be a Super Bowl held on the final Sunday in February so the league could continue to start its season after Labor Day, which is preferred for TV ratings purposes (August traditionally being a slow TV time).

Many of these changes likely wouldn't take effect until the 2021 season -- the first official year of the new CBA -- at the earliest.

But reports say the expanded playoff system could be implemented immediately. Adding a team and eliminating a bye would mean three games in each conference on wild-card weekend instead of two, with one report saying at least one of the wild-card games could be held on a Monday night.

As we wait to see if these proposals are officially approved over the next few days -- which appears to be the goal, with the new league year and free agency looming March 18 -- here are a few thoughts on how this could have impacted the Seahawks or could impact them in the future.

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