J.J. Watt, Richard Sherman, other NFL stars react to proposed playoff and regular season changes


The NFL is proposing some some changes for next season, and they include going from six playoff teams per conference to seven, with only the top seed getting a bye. Eliminating one preseason game to add a 17th regular season one is also on the table. The regular season expansion has been talked about for a while now, with many owners reportedly pushing for the extra game, but some are surprised about the playoff format being altered and many players have been outspoke about not wanting these changes. 

Houston Texans star JJ Watt said he is a “hard no” on the the proposed CBA and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has encouraged him, as well as others, to take leadership and voice their opinions. The players have expressed they want to see a more even distribution of the money and benefits and want longer health coverage in retirement. 

Some have proposed an extra bye week and want more focus on their safety rather than extra games. 

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the changes would come under the current CBA proposal and go into effect in the upcoming season.

Had the seven-team playoff format been around last year, the 9-7 Los Angeles Rams and 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers would have made the playoffs. You can make your own judgements on whether you wanted to see that.

With the bye weeks diminishing to one per conference, this means the last two Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs last year and the New England Patriots the year before, would not have qualified for a bye week and would have seen an extra game in the playoffs. 

If this all does end up happening, it will be the first big schedule/alignment adjustment the NFL has made since 2002, when the league split into eight divisions with four teams each after the Houston Texans joined the league.

Football fans obviously love football, so wouldn’t they be excited about more football? It’s not that simple, as many players and fans pointed out on social media after the new of the potentials changes dropped. 

Here are some of the best reactions:

Watt is a definite no on the proposed changes and tweeted his feelings for all to see.

Sherman responded to the tweet, agreeing with him and encouraging the defensive end to express these feelings with his team’s representative.

In a now deleted tweet, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams wrote, “More Regular Season Games + More Playoff Games = More money for the league & players, everyone wins.” Sherman was there to remind him to look at the big picture, though.

The always outspoken Sherman started a conversation between current and former NFL players, who chimed in with their thoughts.

Geoff Schwartz encouraged Sherman to enlighten the players who might be blinded by the short-term benefits of this change.

The former offensive lineman also made it a point to say the players need better money and more benefits if they are going to be subject to more games.

Former NFL punter Pat McAfee did not just want Sherman to enlighten the players. Instead, he wanted everyone to hear why this might not be a great idea for the league.

Sherman’s responded saying:

Damien Woody just wants to know what was so bad about what we had before.

The new format would allow a mediocre team to strut into the playoffs and some fans want to keep the postseason more exclusive.

Dallas Cowboys fans might not be too mad about these changes, though.

The Cleveland Browns could make history.

Some had no words for the new formats and leaned on gifs to express their thoughts.

This is not exactly what fans have been asking for…

Asking for the league to fix the officiating before making any other changes was a common theme here. 

To sum it all up, in the words of Jim Mora: “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs! Are you kiddin’ me? Playoffs?!”





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