In the midst of all the March Madness excitement and NFL free agency reports, a bit of news went largely unnoticed on Thursday. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell all but confirmed the league will be moving to a 17-game regular season in 2021.
Goodell told reporters that he believed the issue of a 17-game season would be on the docket for the owners meeting at the end of the month. If it's going to be brought up, that means it will pass and be implemented immediately.
Under the NFL's current collective bargaining agreement, the owners have the discretion to add a 17th regular season game as long as they reduce the number of preseason games. However, the CBA prevents the owners from expanding the regular season beyond 17 games.
Adding a 17th regular season game should help offset some of the revenue loss from the 2020 COVID season, but the league's players won't love having to play another game every year. That said, the march to an extra regular season game has been coming for almost a decade. Now we know it will almost certainly be happening in 2021.