While the NFL off-season continues to inundate us with draft prep, combine numbers and Mel Kiper’s hair, one oft-overlooked portion of the down months continues to be the ownership meetings along with voting for rule-changes. Don’t forget, these meetings not only brought us an influx of defensive holding penalties, but also managed to single-handedly reduce the annual salary of Roy Williams.
Checking in on this season, James Walker over at ESPN’s Hashmarks lends some insight to what could wind up being a pretty big change in the AFC: Re-seeding based on record as opposed to being based on Conference Championships.
After digesting the post, two quick things jump out to me:
1) I didn’t know that the AFC North had the toughest strength of schedule last season. This makes me feel even better about the 10-win Browns, even if the playoffs were not awarded. Thanks, Indianapolis. Which leads me to…
2) The following quote:
The only AFC North team expected to vote for re-seeding is the Browns, in part because they were left out of the playoffs via a tiebreaker when the Indianapolis Colts limited playing time for their starters against the Tennessee Titans.
“It makes it so if you locked up the division and have two or three games left, you have to keep playing,” Browns general manager Phil Savage said. “We were in a situation last year where we were hurt by a team not having to play the full 16 games. I think it would almost ensure that all 16 games mean something. I think that’s important.”
Amen, Phil. Of course, teams that would not benefit from the re-seeding (like New England, Indy or in terms of the AFC North, Pittsburgh) are obviously giving it the hammer. Any sort of measure that would ensure teams playing all 16 games would not only make fantasy owners happy, but would make things a bit more interesting down the stretch for the NFL and its broadcasting partners alike.