NFL owners approve playoff, diversity measures

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that owners have voted to approve two measures:

  • Expanding to a 16-team playoff (from 14) this season if future games are lost because of the coronavirus pandemic. If that happens, there will not be a re-seeding for the playoffs. The vote was unanimous.

  • Incentives to reward teams with draft pick compensation (two third-round picks) if they develop coaches and executives of color.

Goodell made the announcement to reporters following a two-hour virtual meeting among owners. Despite the proposal on expanded playoffs, he said the NFL remains committed to finishing the season on time.

Teams that develop a minority assistant coach or executive who is hired for an open head coach or general manager position with another team would be awarded the picks at the end of the third round.

NFL team owners already had approved a plan in March to expand the postseason to 14 teams beginning with the 2020 season. That plan increased the number of wild-card teams per conference to three, up from two.

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