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NFL officially adds 17th regular-season game for each team; Browns to host Cardinals in 2021

The NFL has officially voted to add a 17th regular season game to each team's schedule in 2021.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from March 4, 2021.

The NFL regular season just got a little bit longer.

RELATED: More Cleveland Browns coverage from WKYC

On Tuesday, the NFL owners officially approved plans to add a 17th regular-season game to each team's schedule beginning in 2021. The change will see each team's preseason schedule cut from four games to three with each team's 17th opponent chosen via a rotation of inter-division matchups.

"This is a monumental moment in NFL history," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world."

The NFL's owners had the ability to approve the long-awaited 17-game regular-season schedule beginning in 2021 as a result of the collective bargaining agreement that was reached ahead of the 2020 season. The regular-season will now last a total of 18 weeks, with each team still having its customary bye week.

As a result of the expanded schedule, the Arizona Cardinals have now been added as an opponent for a ninth home game on the Cleveland Browns' 2021 schedule. The Browns' full list of opponents for their yet-to-be-announced 2021 schedule is as follows:

RELATED: Cleveland Browns' 2021 opponents announced

Home

  • Chicago Bears
  • Denver Broncos
  • Detroit Lions
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Houston Texans
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Arizona Cardinals

Away

  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Green Bay Packers
  • New England Patriots
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

As for fans in the stands at games in Cleveland and elsewhere this season, Goodell seemed hopeful that stadiums could be able to have full crowds once again, especially as vaccinations ramp up across the country.

"We’re discussing plans to welcome back all fans across the country at all stadiums," he said. "All of us want to see every one of our fans back. Football is not the same without fans, and we expect to have full stadiums in the upcoming season."

The Browns enter 2021 following a 2020 season in which they amassed their first winning season since 2007 and earned their first postseason bid since 2002. Cleveland's victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round marked its first playoff win since the 1994 season.