As the NFL deals with a sharp wave of criticism arising from the decision of the Colts to pull key starters at halftime of last weekend’s game against the Jets, there’s evidence that the controversy has caught the attention of Commissioner Roger Goodell.
And it’s no surprise that the man who doesn’t care for the preseason isn’t thrilled about the decision of teams to treat December and January games like a second exhibition slate.
Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Goodell is considering the possibility of creating incentives for teams to play starters in meaningless games.
The incentives, according to Mortensen, likely would come in the form of additional draft picks.
On one hand, teams intent on resting critical players before a run at the Super Bowl might not care about getting extra draft picks. On the other hand, NFL teams regard draft picks as important tools for building a team.
An incentive system makes sense, since a mandate to play starters invites chicanery, which then forces the NFL to risk exposing to the general public (and folks like Congress) that cheating is more prevalent than anyone realizes.