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League owners float idea of more playoff teams

NEW YORK — NFL owners likely will consider expanding the playoffs by two teams, beginning in 2015, when they hold spring meetings next week in Orlando, but a vote on the subject is uncertain.

A groundswell for raising the number of playoff qualifiers to seven in each conference figures to get plenty of support from the 32 owners. Most notably, Arizona's Bill Bidwill, who saw his Cardinals go 10-6 and not get in, while Green Bay (8-7-1) qualified by winning the NFC North.

The format of four division winners and two wild-card teams has existed since 2002.

Also on the agenda will be alterations to extra points, changing who oversees video replay reviews, and further clamping down on the use of racial slurs by players during games.

Also, the competition committee said owners will vote next week on whether to move kickoffs from the 35-yard line to the 40, profootballtalk.com reported.

Newton surgery: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had successful surgery on his left ankle; the two-time Pro Bowl pick will be out for four months.

Vick visits New York: Quarterback Michael Vick is visiting the Jets, nj.com reported. The former Eagles starter lost his job to Nick Foles last season.

More JETS: Willie Colon re-signed after starting at right guard in all 16 games last season.

Union head: Eric Winston was elected president of the NFL Players Association, three years after he was active for the union during the lockout. The free agent was Arizona's starting right tackle last season. Winston succeeds Domonique Foxworth, who was out of the league in 2013 and so could not seek re-election.

Vincent promoted: Former player Troy Vincent was promoted to be the league's executive vice president of football operations. Commissioner Roger Goodell also appointed Dave Gardi to senior vice president of football operations.

Re-signings: Bears cornerback and special teams contributor Sherrick McManis, Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry, Packers running back James Starks and two Vikings — guard Charlie Johnson and nose tackle Fred Evans — stayed with their teams.

BENGALS: Former Browns quarterback Jason Campbell signed for one year, ESPN reported.

COWBOYS: Defensive tackle Henry Melton, coming off a major knee injury, signed an incentive-laden one-year contract for $1.25 million base salary. The deal could be worth up to $5 million and the team holds a three-year option.

LIONS: Fullback Jed Collins signed a one-year contract. He started 26 of 47 games the previous three seasons for the Saints.

REDSKINS: The club signed free agent linebacker Akeem Jordan, who played for the Chiefs last season. He is the third inside linebacker with special teams experience the team has added.

TITANS: Defensive tackle Antonio Johnson agreed on a multiyear contract. … Kicker Rob Bironas, the franchise's second-leading career scorer, was released.

League owners float idea of more playoff teams 03/19/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:19pm]
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