Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (center) John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Is An NFL Developmental League A Real Possibility

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It may be the off season, but the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL continue to be in the news. The possibility of an NFL Developmental League is being explored.

As we approach arguably the worst month in the sports calendar in July, where the only sports going on are baseball and occasionally a dash of soccer, sports fans across the country are desperate to get their football fix.

Fortunately for them, the NFL is looking into adding some extra football into the spring that will benefit everyone.

The National Football League is considering operating a “Developmental League” once again, where players and coaches that aren’t exactly “NFL ready” can gain experience and skills, according to NFL Director of Operations Troy Vincent.

According to NFL.com, Vincent said,

“(the NFL) needs to keep the pipeline of talent flowing”, and one way of doing this is by having a minor league of sorts for the NFL.

Of the four major American Sports, the NFL is currently the only league to not have any developmental league or minor league. In the early 2000s, the NFL operated a “d-league” in Europe, which was a way for athletes with potential who didn’t get a shot on a team’s roster to prove their worth.

Players like Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, and Brent Grimes all got their start in the NFL Europe League before it ceased operations in 2007.

General managers and coaches have started to complain over the last couple of years that not all NFL players enter the league ready to play. According to bigstory.ap.org, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin added that quarterbacks in particular need extra development.

“Quarterbacks often don’t come to you ready-made, particularly with the way college football is played now with so many spread offenses and half-field reads and so forth

The idea of this league is so far just that, an idea, so there aren’t many details about how it would run. The league would most likely operate with about six to eight teams in a season that runs from early March to mid-July.

In addition, the league would probably be based in Texas or Southern California where there is a large rooting interest in football.

Football isn’t the cheapest sport in the world to operate, and injuries are always a major concern, but players should have every opportunity to develop the skills that could lead to a longer career. A developmental league would certainly help more players.

While some fear that a new developmental league would have the same faults as its predecessors did, it certainly does bring one factor that almost everyone can be happy about: more football.

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