NFL makes 17-game season official, scraps one preseason game

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo,  the NFL logo is displayed  at midfield during an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. There are some very rich people about to get a whole lot richer. Who else but NFL owners? Probably within the next week, those 32 multi-millionaires/billionaires will see their future earnings increase exponentially. The league is on the verge of extending its broadcast deals with its current partners, and with a new full-time rights holder in Amazon likely acquiring streaming rights. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, FIle)
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo, the NFL logo is displayed at midfield during an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. There are some very rich people about to get a whole lot richer. Who else but NFL owners? Probably within the next week, those 32 multi-millionaires/billionaires will see their future earnings increase exponentially. The league is on the verge of extending its broadcast deals with its current partners, and with a new full-time rights holder in Amazon likely acquiring streaming rights. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, FIle) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The NFL is headed for a 17-game regular season.

League owners voted on Tuesday in favor of the 17th game, and reduced the preseason to three games. Both changes are in effect for the upcoming season.

The Jaguars will host the Atlanta Falcons in the 17th game this year.

The NFL’s International series is also likely to return in full in 2022, according to documents obtained by Sports Illustrated. The league plans to have every NFL team play in an international game at least once every eight years.

Two games will be played in London, and one game apiece in Mexico and Germany. Plans for international games in 2021 have not yet been announced.

The Jaguars had played one game in London every year since 2013 and owner Shad Khan planned on moving a second home game there last year before the pandemic shut international games down in 2020. Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said during a media availability at The Players Championship that he expected to play in London at some point.

The full NFL schedule won’t be released until May.

It marks first change to the NFL’s schedule since 1978, and one made possible for the collective bargaining agreement that was signed last spring.

The NFL season kicks off on Sept. 9. The addition of the 17th game, a cross-conference matchup, means that AFC and NFC teams will alternate who hosts every year. AFC teams will host NFC teams in the additional game in 2021.

“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a release. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”

The decision to add a 17th game will mean changes to the offseason and in-season workout schedules, details that have yet to be released.


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