Report: NFL Will Adopt 17-Game Schedule for 2021 Regular Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

The NFL logo is shown on the field before a game between the Denver Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

There will reportedly be one more regular-season game for NFL teams during the 2021 season.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, each team will play 17 games in what is the first change in the number of games since 1978. While there still needs to be a vote at the league meetings, Florio noted "the only question left to conclusively resolve is whether the league will have three or two preseason games." 

Florio suggested it will likely choose three preseason games to keep the 20-game schedule in place.

This update comes after the NFL announced it signed media-rights deals with Amazon, CBS, ESPN/ABC, Fox and NBC starting with the 2023 season. Sports Business Journal's John Ourand and Ben Fischer reported the league will make $10 billion annually over 11 years of the deal.

Earlier this offseason, Peter King broke down a potential 17-game schedule in his Football Morning in America column. 

He called the 17-game schedule "highly likely" and noted the calendar would be pushed back one week instead of giving teams extra byes. That would mean a Feb. 13 Super Bowl in 2022, and there could also be a Monday game on Wild Card Weekend.

AFC teams would host NFC teams during the extra week in 2021, and that would switch every year. The cross-conference matchups would pit teams that finished in the same place in their respective divisions the prior season and be based on the cross-conference division opponents from two years ago.

That would result in marquee games such as the Green Bay Packers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021.


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