DAVIE, Fla. Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby is all for the NFL expanding the playoffs. That is, if it shows up in his check.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week the 32-team league will consider increasing the field from 12 teams to 14 or 16. If such a scenario were in place this season, the Dolphins, who are 6-8 and still eligible under the current format, obviously would have a much better chance.
But that doesnt mean Dansby would be in favor of such a move if theres not certain conditions met.
Im against that unless they give us some more money, Dansby said in an interview Wednesday with FOX Sports Florida. Having extra playoff games is going to raise a lot more money. So they have to redo the whole CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and everything if they do that. If they pay us like it was (an extra) regular-season game, it would be no problem.
Unless extra cash were to come the way of players, Dansby, who has a base salary this season of 8.8 million, believes expanding the postseason would cheapen it.
It will dilute the field, Dansby said. You want to earn it and, if you have an opportunity to win the whole thing, then its well deserved. You dont want it to be tainted.
Dansby isnt the only Miami player who doesnt see the need for additional possible mediocrity in the playoffs.
If it aint broke, dont fix it, defensive end Cameron Wake said. I dont know what adding more teams would benefit. Right now, Im cool with the way it is.
The way it is now, the Dolphins are long shots to make their first postseason appearance since 2008. To earn an AFC wild-card berth, they would need to win their final two games (Sunday at home vs. Buffalo and Dec. 30 at New England), have Pittsburgh (7-7) win Sunday at home to Cincinnati (8-6) and have the Steelers and Bengals lose their finales (Pittsburgh is home vs. Cleveland and Cincinnati is home vs. Baltimore).
In addition, they would need the New York Jets (6-8), who have been eliminated from the playoffs, to have at least one loss or a tie in their final two games. The Jets play host Sunday to San Diego before closing Dec. 30 at Buffalo.
It does surprise me, tight end Anthony Fasano said of the Dolphins still being alive, a situation that could result in them being the 11th NFL team 8-8 or worse to make the postseason. I dont know of many 8-8 teams (if Miami wins out) that can have a shot for the playoffs at the end of it. Its funny how this worked out. Were trying advantage of it.
Another guy undoubtedly surprised has been Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He said last week, We realize were out of the playoff race.
Well, the Dolphins werent eliminated then, and they still arent.
Yeah, I definitely was notified of that, Tannehill said Wednesday about team brass having let him know about misspeaking. But it didnt change anything. Im still going to go out and play the same regardless of the situation.
After hearing what Tannehill had said last week, wide receiver Marlon Moore had a suggestion for the rookie.
My advice to him is dont say anything until its over, Moore quipped.
Additional advice for Miami players is, if in doubt, it would be wise to ask another Miami quarterback about playoff scenarios. That would be third-stringer Pat Devlin.
Devlin, who says hes a football guy, has studied the possibilities. He spent time after Wednesdays practice giving Moore the lowdown on what has to happen for the Dolphins to make the postseason.
He knows them all, Moore said of the scenarios.
For the Dolphins to stay in the playoff race entering the season's final week, all they need this Sunday is to beat the Bills and for the Steelers to win. Both Miami and Pittsburgh are four-point favorites.
But then would come the tough part. The two most difficult scenarios would be the Dolphins winning at New England, where they have lost nine of 11, and the Steelers falling at home to the downtrodden Browns. At least the Patriots, unlikely to catch Denver for the No. 2 seed in the AFC and most likely being No. 3, could end up resting some players.
If the Dolphins somehow were to get in, it would mark the third straight season a team 8-8 or worse made the postseason. Seattle, the only team ever to get in with a losing mark, showed up at 7-9 in 2010 and Denver earned a berth last year. One only could imagine how much more mediocrity there would be if the playoff field were expanded.
Dansby doesnt want to see that happen. That is, unless hes paid more.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson