The world of professional football is an exciting and unpredictable one, and that’s part of what makes it so thrilling for football fans. It’s an epic, yearly battle between teams as they jockey for position in the standings, fight for top picks in the draft, and compete for the most talented players in free agency. That being said, the NFL - like any sport - should strive to maintain a competitive balance. It’s not only essential for providing great entertainment for fans, but it also helps to promote parity among teams throughout the season, giving every franchise the opportunity to compete. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some changes that could potentially make the NFL more competitive.


Current Structure of the League

The NFL currently consists of 32 teams divided into 8 divisions that play in a 17-week regular season. The teams that end the season with the best overall record in each division and two wild cards (teams with the best records who don’t win their division) make it to the playoffs. The team that emerges victorious after the playoffs is declared the champion for that season.

When it comes to team composition, teams gain new players in three possibilities: they sign them as free agents, they trade for them with other teams, or they draft them from a pool of prospecting college players. Free agents are players that have contracts with teams that are cancelled or have expired, whereas trade deals are when teams trade players or draft picks to one another in exchange for other players or draft picks. The draft is when teams pick new college players to be part of their team.


Suggested Changes to Enhance Competition

One key area that could be addressed in order to level the competitive balance between teams is to reform the revenue-sharing agreement and/or implement a hard cap on team spending. This would ensure that teams with smaller pocketbooks, as well as teams in smaller markets, weren’t at a fiscal disadvantage when compared to the larger teams. This would also mean that the larger teams would no longer be able to buy their way to success through free agency or big trade deals.

Another way to help level out the competitive playing field would be to enhance the draft process. Some ideas for doing this include adding extra picks to teams that miss playoffs, adding an additional draft round, and incentivizing high performing college football teams by giving them priority in the draft process.

Finally, restructuring the TV agreement by allocating a portion of revenue from the TV agreement to lower performing teams and resetting the length of the TV deals (currently 32 times longer than the season) to ensure competitive balance should also be considered.


To Summarize

Having as much parity as possible between teams in the NFL is essential for providing great entertainment and a level playing field for all teams. There are several changes that could potentially make the NFL more competitive, such as reforming the revenue-sharing agreement, implementing a hard cap on team spending, enhancing the draft process, and restructuring the TV agreement. Making these changes could be beneficial for both the league and its fans, who would be guaranteed a more thrilling, competitive season each year. Those who are advocating for competitive balance in the league should come together to push for these changes and put the competitive balance of the NFL back in order.