There once was a developmental league for the NFL, but it was in Europe. The goal of his league was only partially for developmental purposes, it was also meant to expand the interest in the NFL around the world. It was a flop and is now defunct, mainly because Europe didn't want the NFL's sloppy seconds.
The idea to peddle second rate football to enhance interest in the NFL across the ocean in Europe might have failed, but the development of players, coaches, and officials in the league did show some dividends. Now there are more and more people that believe that the NFL actually needs a developmental league, just not one all the way in Europe.
This does make a lot of sense. There are less and less practices that younger, inexperienced players can grow from thanks to the new CBA regulations on practices. More and more players are finding their opportunities lacking because of it and truly could benefit from a new developmental league.
Not only that, but the fans could also use another league of football to watch if the NFL were to do this the right way. If the developmental league were to take place in the mean time here in the spring when there is no more NFL to watch it could be entertaining for the masses.
The problem with a spring league is that players need time to heal before the NFL season were to start and if a player were to elevate himself to the big league from the developmental league it could be a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. I am not sure the NFLPA would agree to it under those circumstances so that might just be a pipe dream.
Still, there does seem to be a void for a developmental league and voices calling for it are definitely getting louder. One of the loudest voices is Stephen Jones who is on the competition committee and is the Cowboys CEO, Executive Vice President, and director of player personnel. The son of Jerry is definitely going all in on a future developmental league and thinks the time might be now to get started on one.
"We've reached a point where we really should be looking more at a developmental league, and I really expect that to begin here in the next year or so. We lost a lot of money on the NFL Europe, but there were a lot of things the league did well and for all those reasons -- coaches, officiating, players, quarterbacks in particular -- it's something we really do need to be looking at and studying. The time might be right to do it."
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NFL: Movement for an NFL developmental league - Video - CBSSports.com
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