Monday, August 4, 2014

Issues in the NFL: Lack of Developmental League

Ever since the disbandment of NFL Europe in 2007, the NFL has been without a mid-level training system after college for aspiring professional football players.

With the influx of NFL-ready college athletes, there seems to be little need for a football developmental league (minor league, for example). However, the NFL can greatly benefit from establishing an official developmental league such as the Minors (MiLB) and NBA-DL (NBA Developmental League).

To begin, an NFL developmental system would allow aspiring major-league players to hone their skills in an environment that more closely resembles the style of play in the NFL (in comparison to the CFL and other football leagues).

The CFL (Canadian Football League) and AFL (Arena Football League) produce a number of players who earn their opportunity in the NFL; but due to a different style of play and a variety of rules in their respective leagues, this can be a difficult transition in the NFL.

More importantly, a developmental league can serve as the testing grounds for the NFL to implement new rule changes, train officiating crews (and even offer year-round employment), as well as increase the pool of experienced coaches.

In doing so, this could lead to a better organized league in which:

- New rules are thoroughly examined before being mandated without any rebuttal (lessening the power of the NFL Commissioner)

- Referees will be able to have increased job security and fully understand the rules prior to the season, instead of "understanding after the event occurs"

- Experienced coaches will most likely enhance the competitiveness of the game, leading to a level playing field in both conferences (NFC and AFC)