The door remains ajar for playoff expansion to 14 teams this season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday that owners would discuss expanded playoffs at the Spring League Meeting in Atlanta on May 20.
According to Newsday's Bob Glauber, Goodell said it is possible owners could approve expanding playoffs as early as this season. If no vote is taken at that meeting, it won't happen this year.
On Friday, Goodell told NFL Media's Jeff Darlington that the owners will be judicious about their decisions.
"Well, I don't know about 2014," he said. "We're focused on being, obviously, very thoughtful. We want to make sure we make the right decision and implement it the right way.
"We've gone through a number of committees and talking with a number of our partners, including the players and our network partners but I do think it will happen. I don't know if it will be '14 or '15 but I do expect it will happen in the future."
The NFL has no concern that playoff expansion will diminish the regular season.
"We believe that through all of our analysis we haven't found anything negative about it," Goodell said. "We think there are positives to it with respect to competitiveness of our races."
While it remains more likely that expansion happens in 2015, Goodell's comments continue to further push the idea that it's possible to add two teams this season.
Another indication of playoff expansion was the announcement earlier this week that ESPN would televise the first NFL playoff game in the network's 35-year history in January 2015. The added network opens the door for more television time for additional games.
Expansion is coming; whether or not it's in 2014 will be a decision that owners will tackle after the NFL draft.