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No vote taken on expansion of regular season to 17 games for 2021

Peter King, Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss the news surrounding the NFL owners voting on adding a 17th game and why it feels like a done deal.

The NFL has their cake, but they’re not eating it yet.

With the full power to expand the regular season to 17 games, the league’s owners did not vote during a Wednesday meeting to do so for 2021. Commissioner Roger Goodell provided that information during a Wednesday conference call with reporters.

Goodell explained that the owners did vote on a scheduling formula if/when a 17th game is added, and that the formula was approved. He did not disclose the manner for determining the extra game.

A decision on expanding to 17 games is expected in the next several weeks, Goodell said.

He also mentioned the ongoing negotiations for the next round of TV contracts. The delay in expanding the season, while potentially rooted in a desire to make the NFL Players Association clamor for more games as a way to increase revenue, likely also has some connection to the question of whether and to what extent the networks will pay for the extra games.

Regardless, to the extent that the pandemic has been cited as a reason for possibly not expanding the regular season, that simply makes no sense. The pandemic should make the NFL even more motivated to find ways to make more money, and adding 16 total games to the 256-game regular season would do that.