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TAMPA, Fla. -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that a proposal to expand the playoffs by two teams would not water down the postseason.
"We're very cautious on that," said Goodell, who was the featured guest at a fundraising breakfast for Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School, which was founded by soon-to-be Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks and former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo. "You want to make sure that you don't do that. We have 12 teams out of 32 that make our playoffs now. This would only take us up to 14.
The competitive- ness of our league, that's the difference to me. It's not just adding two more teams that didn't have a chance to proceed in the playoffs. What we're seeing now is such a competitive league that a team that got in on the 13th or 14th spot has a chance to win it all.” -- Roger Goodell on expanding playoffs
"The competitiveness of our league, that's the difference to me. It's not just adding two more teams that didn't have a chance to proceed in the playoffs. That wouldn't be something that we're interested in. I think what we're seeing now is such a competitive league that a team that got in on the 13th or 14th spot has a chance to win it all."
The league will discuss the proposal at a May 20 meeting in Atlanta. Goodell said owners could vote to implement the new system for the 2014 or 2015 season.
Some critics have said that expanded playoffs would dilute the quality of the postseason, but Goodell doesn't see it that way.
"The reality is there are a lot of teams that other playoff teams are afraid of coming in in those 13th and 14th spots," Goodell said. "We're going to make it more competitive. I think that's the positive spot. That's what our competition committee, our membership, our ownership has all looked at and feels comfortable that, yes, it will be competitive."
Goodell said that the league is talking with its broadcast partners and players about the proposal and that he believes the proposal has plenty of support.
"Yes, I do," he said. "What we're doing now is talking to partners, our networks and our players, and making sure that, when we do it, we do it right."