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Roger Goodell says playoffs still 'likely' to expand

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Two years ago, it seemed inevitable the NFL would expand the playoffs. Then last offseason, the issue was tabled.

At last month's Annual League Meeting, playoff expansion wasn't even one of the talking points. That doesn't mean the door is closed on possibly adding two more wild-card teams down the road.

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Speaking at a town hall meeting with Jacksonville Jaguars season ticket holders, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the possibility of expansion in the future.

"It's a tough one," Goodell said, via the Jags' official team website. "And the reason I say that is it works so well right now. We have 12 teams that qualify for the playoffs and what it does is it's not just the number of teams in the playoffs, it's what it does to our regular season. I think that's what makes the NFL great is every game means so much. That game means a great deal. You don't ever want to lose that. You don't want to lose the fact that every regular-season game is important. And only having 12 teams qualify, which is the smallest of any of the professional leagues by far, that's a good thing for us ...

"Could you do it? Yes, you could do it. From a competitive standpoint, our competition committee said 'we think we can do it properly.' We're still looking at the broadcasting side of it and then there's a labor-relations side of it too, which you have to deal with with the union. But it will continue to get discussion.

"(It) likely will happen at some point, but we want to be really cautious because we really like the balance we have with the importance of the regular season and the postseason and you don't want to mess with that balance. You have to be really careful and cautious."

Around The NFL hasn't been proponents of playoff expansion, in part because of the potential for watering down a fantastic tournament. Sure, there are teams each year that get left out, but to borrow coach-speak: that's part of the game.

Yet, the potential payday for adding two extra wild-card games may be enough for owners to eventually overcome any trepidation about messing with a proven product.

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