NFL notebook: Owners may consider playoff expansion at meetings
NFL owners likely will consider expanding the playoffs by two teams, beginning in 2015, when they hold their spring meetings in Orlando next week, 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, whereas Green Bay (8-7-1) qualified by winning the NFC North.
The current format of four division winners and two wild-card teams has existed since 2002, when Houston joined the league as an expansion team, bringing the membership to 32.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said “There will be a report on the potential of expanded playoffs. We don't know if there will be any vote at this meeting.”
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.
Ex-Pats players: Team used false injury info
Two former Patriots said the team put false information about them on official injury reports, ProFootballTalk.com reported.
Brandon Spikes, who signed with the Bills, and Aqib Talib, who signed with the Broncos, said since leaving New England in free agency that the team last season gave them injury designations that were inaccurate.
“I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report,” Spikes told ESPN.com. “That's just how things go there. Almost like what happened with Talib and his hip.”
RB Johnson getting looks
The Titans are receiving trade interest in running back Chris Johnson, ProFootballTalk.com reported.
Johnson is due to make $8 million in 2014 and is expected to be released if no trade can be made.
Pro Football Talk reported “multiple teams” are interested in attempting to make a trade for Johnson but added “nothing is imminent.”
Colon stays with Jets
The Jets said guard Willie Colon re-signed with them.
In a post on their website, the team says the 30-year-old Colon, a former Steeler, will return after starting at right guard in all 16 games last season.
The New York native thanked the Jets on Twitter, saying he's glad to “be back home.”
Titans boot K Bironas
The Titans released Rob Bironas, the franchise's second-leading career scorer and one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.
Bironas had 1,032 career points in his nine-year career with Tennessee and was just 28 points behind Al Del Greco, the top scorer in the history of the Houston Oilers and Titans organization. The 36-year-old Bironas has made 85.7 percent of his career field-goal attempts (239 of 279) to rank fourth in NFL history in accuracy.
New union prez tabbed
Veteran tackle Eric Winston was elected president of the NFL players union.
Winston succeeds Domonique Foxworth, who did not seek re-election for the NFL Players Association post.
Winston has played for Houston, Kansas City and Arizona since being a third-round draft pick in 2006 by the Texans.
Around the league
Former Browns quarterback Jason Campbell reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the Bengals, ESPN.com reported. ... Free agent quarterback Michael Vick is planning to visit with the Jets as early as Friday, NJ.com reported. … The Panthers say Cam Newton had successful surgery on his left ankle, and the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback will be sidelined for four months. ... The Cowboys agreed to terms with defensive lineman Henry Melton. ... The Raiders filled their void at left tackle by signing free agent Donald Penn to a two-year deal worth a reported $9.6 million.
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