NFL set to unveil new rotation formula for international games once 17-game schedule is implemented – CBS Sports

NFL International Series-Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the NFL’s 32 owners virtually get together to hold their annual meeting next week (March 30-31), it’s widely expected that they’re going to vote to expand the regular-season schedule from 16 to 17 games and when that happens, it appears it’s going to have a dramatic impact on how international games are handled. 

According to the Sports Business Journal, the NFL is likely going to implement a schedule rotation that will require every team to play at least one international game every eight years. The NFL has regularly been holding international games since 2007, but there’s been no set rotation, which is why some teams — like the Jaguars, Raiders and Dolphins — have played multiple international games while other teams have played one or zero (Of the NFL’s 32 teams, the Packers are the only one that still hasn’t played an international game). 

The NFL has been trying to schedule four international games in each season over the past few years and that hasn’t been easy, because teams don’t like the idea of giving up a home game. In an effort to try and get teams to volunteer to play in international games, the NFL passed a rule in 2014 that required a team to play abroad if they wanted to host a Super Bowl. Once the 17th game gets approved, it won’t be surprising if that rule gets scrapped. 

The new rotational formula for international games will reportedly involve four of the 16 new AFC-NFC match-ups being moved abroad. If the 17-game schedule is approved, the new international rotation would begin in 2022, an NFL spokesman told CBSSports.com. 

The AFC and NFC will alternate hosting duties for the 17th game every year and for 2021, the AFC Is likely going to be the host, according to NBC Sports. If that happens, the NFC will be hosting games in 2022, which means four NFC home teams will have their 17th game moved abroad (For international games in 2021, the NFL will likely go its normal route of looking for volunteer teams with the Jaguars expected to be one of of those).  

Although London and Mexico City are expected to host international games in 2021, SBJ did note that the league is looking at potentially playing games in both Germany and Canada at some point in the near future. 

If the 17th game gets approved, the 16 games below will be added to the 2021 schedule.

Packers at Chiefs
Bears at Raiders
Vikings at Chargers
Lions at Broncos
Seahawks at Steelers
Rams at Ravens
Cardinals at Browns
49ers at Bengals
Saints at Titans
Buccaneers at Colts
Panthers at Texans
Falcons at Jaguars
Washington at Bills
Giants at Dolphins
Cowboys at Patriots
Eagles at Jets  

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