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Playoff expansion? Ditch some preseason games

Bengals offensive tackle and team player representative Andrew Whitworth reacts to the idea of expanding the playoffs, but wants a little give and take.

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, preseason.

When the first game approaches, it's awesome. The anxiety is in the air. No more Bengals on Bengals violence! It's time to hunt. Then you painfully realize that it's tryout football, with the added bonus of starters knocking some rust off their offseason bodies by performing in game-time conditions in the first quarter... sometimes the second. The romance of the preseason is a quick honeymoon.

It's fun to get a view on the players vying for a roster spot, but they are mid-tier players. Big deal. Boredom sets in. But not to them. In many cases, it's the audition of their lives. Sometimes you find a diamond, but mostly likely... not. And the league gives you the opportunity to pay regular season prices for preseason production.

And while the NFL is looking at ways of making more money, they are considering a plan to expand the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams -- essentially adding one wild card team per conference (the vote could take place this autumn). Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, who is the team's player representative, wants a little give and take if the NFL is heading in this direction.

Makes sense. Some of the more popular ideas has started with removing two preseason games. But those arguments have usually applied to an extended regular season -- which is usually met with groans from players who find freedoms in the hypocritical counter-points about player safety (hypocritical from the league... not the players).

"We keep looking on the backend because that generates more money and we understand that," Whitworth said via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "But you also have four games that mean absolutely nothing that are just a risk for every guy that gets on the football field. Why are we not paying attention to that? If we want to focus on adding a game, why don't we give the fans a break and not make them pay for a game that doesn't mean anything?"


Give and take, NFL. Not take, take, take.