View Full Version : Developmental Leagues? For or against?

07-28-2010, 02:16 PM
I think the one thing the NFL has missed out on is development programs (and NFL Europe while a decent try wasn't going to be it with a limited fan base). If you want to increase the pool of talented players available beyond just those that are ready out of college, create a feeder league. Several have tried including arena, XFL and now the UFL. If the NFL adopted one of these and threw their weight behind it in the summer, you could get more football and develop new players.

Rather than expand the regular season, add a short (6-10 game?) summer season (June-July?). Every other major sport has this, summer and D-league basketball, minor league hockey and baseball. In addition to development, it allows for rehab, scouting, etc. You could also allow rookies to play and cut down on meaningless preseason games. Why hasn't the NFL adopted this format? The answer may be as simple as would anyone watch so I pose it here.

Would you watch a developmental league, potentially in summer?
Do you think this would improve the NFL?

(sorry for the typo in the poll question, can't seem to find a way to edit it, oh well)

07-28-2010, 02:40 PM
That's what they were trying to do with NFL Europe. I am all for it in some fashion and besides, who watches Baseball anymore?

07-28-2010, 02:40 PM
I watched some UFL ganes last year and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of football. When Detroit had an Arena team back in the 90s, I even went to a few of their games (very entertaining to see live). I would absolutely watch an NFL summer league. Let's not get into the popularity of the USFL.

07-28-2010, 03:48 PM
dont think it will be like baseball where each team has its own farm system or anything,I thought they called that the practice squad,but wouldnt mind like the UFL as the pros said trying to partner with the NFL

07-28-2010, 04:02 PM
I think it could further grow the talent base.

07-28-2010, 08:53 PM
Problem is it's avery expensive proposition, both to start up and to maintain. I'm not sure if the NFL owners don't figure why buy a cow when you can get the milk from the universities.

07-28-2010, 11:37 PM
If the WNBA and MLS can stay afloat I am pretty sure minor league football would have no problem at least breaking even if not turning a profit.

07-28-2010, 11:40 PM
I don't see how it hurts. I think in time the UFL will serve as such.

07-29-2010, 12:08 AM
I'm in favor of a developmental league and the UFL in particular, especially if the NFL goes to an 18 game season in the future. 18 games means getting rid of 2 preseason games. The preseason in the past has given a lot of undrafted players a chance to shine and make a roster, eventually leading to successfull careers. If the UFL is a success or some other type of development league, it would have more players prepared both physically and mentally for having only 2 chances to prove themselves instead of 4.

07-29-2010, 12:58 AM
I wonder if the NFL and UFL could work out a deal to allow practice squad players to play in UFL games. There would have to be adjustments to the size of the practice squad of course, but it could be interesting. From what I've read (and seen in webcasts hosted on FPL) the UFL is trying to be a partner to the NFL rather than a competitor.

07-29-2010, 01:11 AM
I wonder if the NFL and UFL could work out a deal to allow practice squad players to play in UFL games. There would have to be adjustments to the size of the practice squad of course, but it could be interesting. From what I've read (and seen in webcasts hosted on FPL) the UFL is trying to be a partner to the NFL rather than a competitor.

thats a great idea,give players game time exp. and we can see if painter can actually throw a pass!

07-29-2010, 02:31 AM
I agree with msclemons-the NFL can only benefit from the UFL developmental league. If the UFL season was moved to the late spring to early summer (most indoor football leagues have their season at this time), the UFL games could be televised and not compete with the NFL. The NFL could (as suggested) expand the practice squad from the current 5 or 6 to 12-15. Then allow the NFL to 'option' the practice players to UFL teams. The UFL teams would not be tied to individual NFL teams-players would be dispersed to UFL teams in a draft like system or a territorial allocation of some kind. The UFL season would be timed to end a couple weeks before the start of NFL training camp. The best performers from the UFL would (hopefully) get invitations to NFL camps. With all UFL games televised, and a decent salary level, plenty of players will show up-the Orlando team had over 1,000 potential players show up for tryouts last year, even without the NFL supporting the league officially.

Of course, the NFL would put money, TV contracts, and marketing behind the UFL, while allowing the UFL to control their own affairs. For consistency, the UFL should follow the same rules and officiating as the NFL-maybe the NFL can also use the UFL as a training and evaluation tool for future NFL referees. Plenty of people would watch the UFL in the spring and summer, as there is no other televised football going on at that time. Not everyone watches baseball (especially not me)-if you had at least regional coverage for all games, and national TV coverage for 1-2 games a week, money would be made. If UFL player salaries stay reasonable, it can be a money-making proposition. NFL Europe did not have enough fans and it cost too much to maintain teams in Europe, where labor costs are higher-so there is not really a comparison with that experience.

07-29-2010, 07:40 AM
In theory a developmental league is a good idea, but i don't think it works in the States business wise. Football was made for TV & nothing is worse than, including NFL games, watching a game in an empty stadium....unless it your team. A lot of variables make the NFL what it is today; from marketing, fantasy football, off season pick-ups, etc. The UFL (granted it's only entering its second season) is good to watch until the first commercial comes on & then I'm channel surfing. I thought NFLE was perfect for the NFL. It;s ashame it took a sh#t.

Although it's somewhat a different game, maybe the NFL could partner with the CFL. The CFL is well established (though I couldn't name 2 teams) & would love more US exposure.

...that's my 2cents

07-29-2010, 10:02 PM
I'd definitely watch if there was a way to have it similar to minor league baseball. I mean that in the sense that I want every player on the team to be owned by one franchise. Then I would watch the Giants "minor league" team and follow the young guys.

What I didn't like about NFL Europe was that I'd see one or two guys from my favorite team and I'd spend most of my time looking for them on the field.

07-30-2010, 12:12 AM
Definitely in the NFL...Minor league baseball is fun to go to, but I'm not sure about if I'd watch that every day. The NBDL is terrible, and it doesn't really benefit those players unless someone gets hurt. I think it's cool in the NFL too because players are a commodity, depending on position. Shelf life too. Some games in the Summer could determine an O-Lineman's livelyhood in the NFL, and I think that would be cool to watch.