NFL news roundup: League refutes wild card expansion

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receivers and the playoffs headlined league news on Monday.

The 2014 NFL wild card weekend wrapped up with four exciting games, but the football world was abuzz on Monday with a rumor the league was planning to expand the playoffs to add two more wild card teams.

It didn't take long for the NFL to refute the rumors, explaining that it would take a vote by owners to make a change -- and that couldn't occur until meetings that are held in March. The league statement did not rule out the possibility however, simply saying a decision has not been made at this time.

Early ratings indicate the wild card weekend was one of the most-watched in NFL history, which could impact the any decision in owner's meetings.

Steve Smith uncertain to play vs. 49ers

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith continues to recover from a PCL sprain sustained in Week 16, and remains an uncertainty to play in the divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Smith currently has a 60-percent chance of starting on Sunday and the Panthers need a deep-threat in order to to get past a stout 49ers defense.

DeSean Jackson wants a raise from Eagles

DeSean Jackson is coming off his best season in the NFL and now he's looking to be paid. The Eagles wide receiver believes his no-nonsense approach to playing should be rewarded, but it's unclear whether the team's front office will rework a deal so quickly.

Jackson received a contract extension in March of 2012, and the team has made no official statement on his status at this time.

James Jones to test free agency

Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones will test his value in the free agent market this spring.

Jones became an integral part of the Packers playoff push when he stepped in for an injured Randall Cobb. Jones finished with a career high in yards, even if he was unable to match the 14 touchdowns he caught in 2012.

Could DeMarcus Ware become a cap casualty?

The Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a tight cap situation and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware could become a salary cap victim.

Ware is scheduled to earn $12.25 million in 2014, and Dallas is already $25 million over the projected salary cap. Head coach Jason Garrett wants to keep Ware, but understands there are cap ramifications that could impact the potential for him staying.

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