The NFL is urgently discussing a new scheduling formula that would include a three-game preseason to go with a 16-game regular season, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen.
The favored model could also include an expanded playoff field from 12 to 14 teams, sources said. That would offset teams' lost revenue from the elimination of a preseason game, and it also could lead to additional television revenues for the league.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell alluded to the league's interest in the new scheduling model during an interview with NFL.com this past week, although he said the changes likely would not happen in 2014.
But sources told ESPN that the changes could still be implemented as early as 2014 if the NFL can procure the necessary votes from team owners. The league also would need to establish a new preseason scheduling formula, get sponsorship agreements and resolve a few stadium lease issues, sources said.
The NFL's competition committee recommended the three-game preseason model as the minimum necessary period for player evaluation and development, sources said.