When will the NFL's 17-game schedule start?

Sporting News

NFL players voted to approve the new proposed collective bargaining agreement by a narrow margin of 1,019 to 959. The new CBA contains several big changes, most notably the installment of a 17-game season.

The 17-game season was a big point of contention. Owners wanted to extend the season for obvious reasons: an extra game means an extra week of revenue and allows them to hike up the costs for TV deals, which are set to be renegotiated this year. Many players, on the other hand, were concerned about adding an extra game because it's another week they have to risk injury and potentially miss out on extending their careers.

MORE: NFL players post mixed reactions after new CBA passes in close vote

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Ultimately, despite heavy opposition from some big name players, the vote to approve passed, which means we will be getting a 17-game NFL season in the future.

When will the NFL's 17-game schedule start?

The answer to that question is: Not immediately.

The earliest the NFL can add the 17th regular season game is 2021, and the latest is 2023. It seems the most likely landing spot will be 2022, because new broadcast contracts could potentially be in place by then.

Until then, the 2020 season will be fairly similar: four preseason games, 16 regular season games, but with the new twist of an added Wild Card team to each conference, giving fans two extra playoff games on Wildcard Weekend. Only the top seed in each conference will get a first-round bye.

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