I know I am a little late to the party for this discussion, but I had an idea, even if its a little too "XFL" to be realistic. Everyone complains about week 17 with teams resting their starters, and some losing teams having already checked out for the season. This makes for some horribly non-competitive games, and the fans lose out. What if we gave everyone something to play for Week 17 whether a playoff team or not? Goodell was flirting with the idea of penalizing teams for resting starters, but then Welker went down giving the Patriots an excuse to melt down against the Ravens. The other problem with penalizing teams is as with the Rooney Rule, there would be plenty of ways to circumvent the rule without complying with its intent.
How about this: Round 3 of the following year's draft is ordered based on performance in Week 17 alone. Teams could still choose to rest players, but there would be an incentive to win, score points, and play hard. Plenty of teams with poor seasons have historically played well late in the season after there is nothing left to lose. No more accusations of throwing games to improve the draft standing either. No more vanilla forrmation packages (I'm talking to you Arizona), real competitive football. I'm sure there are plenty of flaws with this idea, and the NFL will never go for it, but maybe there is a way to give teams a reason to play harder week 17!