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A London NFL team could struggle to attract free agents

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If the NFL moves a franchise to London, as Commissioner Roger Goodell sees as a future possibility, that team may be at a decided disadvantage when it comes to free agency.

Although NFL free agents typically go to the team that offers the most money, Bengals offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, the team’s union representative, says he wouldn’t go to London. And he thinks a lot of other players feel the same way.

“I would hope that I was financially able to quit,” Whitworth told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “That’s what I would hope because if I was, my papers would be the first one in. . . . I don’t see any players that would enjoy that. Sure, you may find a handful of guys that say, ‘Oh hey, that’d be cool,’ but the rest of them wouldn’t.”

Quitting is an extreme reaction, and if an NFL team moved to London, the vast majority of players would suck it up and go, even if they wouldn’t like it. But that London team might have to overpay to convince free agents to uproot their lives and go live across the Atlantic, especially considering the higher tax rates that high-income earners pay in the United Kingdom. And overpaying for free agents isn’t a good way for a team to build a strong roster. So the London team could be at a competitive disadvantage.

There are ways that the NFL could mitigate those issues. A London team could be given extra salary cap space to compensate for the higher tax rates, or players could be given relocation stipends to pay the costs of moving to another country. Or if the Jacksonville Jaguars became the London Jaguars, they could keep a facility in Jacksonville and continue to do offseason work and training camp there, and even use a Jacksonville practice facility during the regular season so they wouldn’t have to fly back to London when they have back-to-back road games in the U.S.

But the whole point of the NFL going to London would be to build a solid fan base in England, and that’s going to be a lot harder to do if everyone on the London team treats going to London like a chore. The NFL doesn’t want to come across like a bunch of greedy Americans who will gladly take the British fans’ Pounds but don’t want to be a part of their community.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of potential obstacles to moving an NFL team to Europe. And a big one is that a lot of players wouldn’t want to go.

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124 Responses to “A London NFL team could struggle to attract free agents”
  1. upperdecker19 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:10 PM

    “A London NFL team could struggle to attract free agents”……………………………

    and more importantly…….struggle to attract FANS!!! This idea gets dumber every time it comes up.

  2. elwaysagenius says: Jun 6, 2013 6:12 PM

    Tip for Goodell: don’t go to London, it will fail miserably.

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 6, 2013 6:13 PM

    Pull your head out of the groundhog hole, Andy. Players would be fine with working out of London. Asking a Londoner to move to Green Bay, or Pittsburgh, or Cleveland, might be different story.

  4. redbirdsrising says: Jun 6, 2013 6:15 PM

    Why are we talking about London when Los Angeles has no team?

  5. 808raiderinparadise says: Jun 6, 2013 6:15 PM

    Disagree…. broke dudes like T.O. and OchoCinco would be all over it

  6. MichaelWrites says: Jun 6, 2013 6:15 PM

    The biggest problem with getting free agents to join a London team is that a convicted felon can’t get a visa to go over there.

  7. unfortunatelyabillsfan says: Jun 6, 2013 6:16 PM

    Bring back NFL Europe!!!!!!

  8. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 6, 2013 6:16 PM

    They would be at a disadvantage compared to most NFL teams.
    Compared to the state of the franchise in Jacksonville they cannot get much worse.

  9. durangokidii says: Jun 6, 2013 6:16 PM

    “Oh no, I have to live in one of the best cities in the world and get paid millions of dollars to play a game for a couple years.” Poor, poor NFL players.

  10. mj1818 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:17 PM

    I hate this money grubbing idea of a team in London. There’s money to be made but I think there is some pride in knowing this is an American sport. I guess 9 billion isn’t enough, the need 20 billion to be happy

  11. dryzzt23 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:18 PM

    You don’t want an NFL team in London? Ok then revenue for the NFL must increase by:
    1. Lowering players salaries – 70% of NFL revenues go to the players.
    2. Withdrawing all players lawsuits – the NFL pays millions to defend itself in court against greedy players.
    3. Create a better (and cheaper) stadium experience.

  12. britishraven says: Jun 6, 2013 6:19 PM

    London is much nicer than (off the top of my head): Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnatti, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Oakland, Baltimore, Minnesota and some FA’s decide to go those places…

    But seriously, it’s a valid point. I’m not sure how the salary cap issues would work but we seem to be moving toward a scenario where a team could sell 75,000+ tickets 8 times a year over here

  13. bugorfeature says: Jun 6, 2013 6:19 PM

    The British are already rabid football fans. They just like it played with a round ball and two nets.

  14. heeeeelzfan says: Jun 6, 2013 6:19 PM

    Look at the bright side of this: Hmmmm…well…uh…hmmmmm…

  15. supesfan34 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:19 PM

    Ya think……

  16. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:20 PM

    LOL yeah right players would quit and walk away from their multi-million dollar contracts to do what ?

    Hope they know the phrase “Would you like some fries with your Whopper sir” because most of them aren’t capable of anything more than that once they’re off the football field.

  17. pinchekeith says: Jun 6, 2013 6:20 PM

    “There are ways that the NFL could mitigate those issues. A London team could be given extra salary cap space to compensate for the higher tax rates, or players could be given relocation stipends to pay the costs of moving to another country. ”

    Create a problem, then create more problems trying to fix your problem.

    If I was an NFL owner I would absolutely not stand for nonsense like giving my competitors more salary cap room.

  18. mianfr says: Jun 6, 2013 6:23 PM

    I think the only fair thing would be to let them have no salary cap, at least initially, as a way to deal with the numerous boundaries they would have to overcome.

    Personally, I think it would be cool to go to London, and think there’s a number of flashier players who would appreciate the exposure, but England really just isn’t that racially tolerant as a whole and some quieter players may have great difficulty adjusting.

  19. moagecu says: Jun 6, 2013 6:23 PM

    cab thus please go away. It is by far the worst decision ever. You don’t see the Premiership trying to start a club in New York.

  20. antalicus says: Jun 6, 2013 6:23 PM

    Why does it have to be located in London to have a fan base over there? The majority of NFL fans don’t even go to live games.

    If they want to create fans over there they need to give them some reason to watch the sport. Im sure most of them don’t even understand american football much like we don’t know about rugby or cricket.

    Recruit a bunch of rugby/soccer pros over to the NFL and maybe that will create some interest.

  21. johnstone17 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:24 PM

    Just a dumb idea. Travel disadvantages that are beyond the pale for all involved.

  22. urfinished says: Jun 6, 2013 6:24 PM

    Could?

  23. baselman1974 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:24 PM

    This plan is just stupid. First NFL players must pay higher taxes due to playing in London for what 10 games at most?

    Also the time difference is just too much. 6-10 hours depending if what time zone it is.

    How about a team in Canada like Vancouver or Toronto. At least Canadians do follow football and have a fan base there. Also it’s not far away.

  24. 4thqtrsaint says: Jun 6, 2013 6:24 PM

    Hey Ginger, lets get this done. If it works, cool. If it doesn’t, you get the boot. Even better.

  25. seanpbeck says: Jun 6, 2013 6:24 PM

    They already have tax-exempt stadiums that they wholly operate and pay no rent. Up next…tax exempt rosters!

  26. barbasol11111111 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:25 PM

    If we can trade the jags for an epl team that would be chill

  27. emma333 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:26 PM

    They could use a facility and work out in Jacksonville in the off season. ARE YOU KIDDING. That would be the height of arrogance from the NFL. Sure, we will rip your team away, but hey, that’s OK, you can still come watch in the off season, YEA! That would be an ultimate slap in the face, that no fan base should deserve.

  28. coltzfan166 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:27 PM

    Well said MDS.

  29. tucsonpackfan says: Jun 6, 2013 6:28 PM

    Dumb idea. Think about their schedule. Home, away, home, away. You get the idea. The London team would live on a plane.,…

    Get foreignemillionairesirs to form their own league and then we can have a super-super bowl on some island….

  30. evilglazers666 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:31 PM

    Could we just send Goodell to London and call it a day?

  31. steelbreeze676 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:31 PM

    I love other countries… but not with football.

    This is America’s game… let’s keep it here. Form a league out there again and see if it’ll catch on that way.

  32. braceyourselffor12 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:33 PM

    I agree with another post: L.A before London.

  33. skinsrock says: Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM

    The Jaguars have a hard enough time getting FA… Going to be real tough in London.

  34. kwjsb says: Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM

    They said Giving a franchise to Hawaii was impractical due to the travel times and time zone adjustments. I don’t think the Raiders, 49ers, Or Chargers would enjoy a trip to England then Play At the Dolphins the next week.

  35. gmsalpha says: Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM

    Remember the London Jaguars?

    Sounds familiar. They were there for what, 2 years or something and then moved to L.A because they couldn’t get any fans and the players hated eating fish ‘n chips all day and listening to Coldplay?

    Yeah. What a dumb idea.

  36. kane337 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM

    I would play in London. The average career of a NFL player is only about 3.5 years. It would be great to live in another country for a few years.

  37. bartlettruss says: Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM

    Saying “higher tax rates” is a soft sell. No one here in America can easily imagine the tax rates in England. There’s a reason they have free health care. The Beatles were paying a tax rate of 95% at one point and wrote the song “Taxman” about the experience.

    I’ve worked with many people from England and Canada many of whom left their country and came to the US for no other reason than the tax rates. It would be a VERY big deal…

  38. silverandblackfan77 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:37 PM

    Clearly a terrible idea to put a team in london try putting a team in canada or LA first before you move to the UK

  39. logicallvoicesays says: Jun 6, 2013 6:37 PM

    The Redskins should move to London. No one wants those pathetic losers, has-beens, and never-will-be’s here anyway. Also, the British parliament can then join the US congress and waste time debating whether or not they should change their team nickname. #BurgundyandGoldSUBStandard #RGIIIMrIrrelevant

  40. catquick says: Jun 6, 2013 6:38 PM

    Once again, proof high tax rates destroy life

  41. prmpft says: Jun 6, 2013 6:39 PM

    a team there would struggle to meet ANY of the expectations of an NFL franchise – it is truly a STUPID idea…but what would you expect from goddell?

  42. phillyrick22 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:40 PM

    bad idea all the way around, just put a team in LA and be done with it!

  43. surfinbird1 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:41 PM

    This would be as sucessful as the Yugo.

  44. schmitty2 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:43 PM

    Can we just have Goodell shipped over there instead?

  45. giantssb42champs says: Jun 6, 2013 6:49 PM

    You can’t get guns in the UK. That would be like depriving most NFL players of water and oxygen.

  46. nightofthehipple says: Jun 6, 2013 6:54 PM

    Do they even want an NFL team?

  47. cheapglazers says: Jun 6, 2013 6:55 PM

    The London Bridge is falling down.

  48. seaeagle707 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:56 PM

    Every thread about a London team gets someone saying, “What about Los Angeles?” Well, what about it? The Rams found it more lucrative to move to St.Louis. The Raiders came south to LALA land, then beat a hasty retreat back to Oakland. The XFL couldn’t make it in LA, and their only championship game was played there. Face it, Los Angeles is death for an NFL-franchise, and no owner today wants to risk losing big bucks there.

    Besides, San Diego is soooooo close.

  49. 4greatestvikingever says: Jun 6, 2013 6:57 PM

    Is this the worst off season EVER? Who else is tired of the words, London, Tebow, Gay, Titus Youg, Arrested, and Bieber?

  50. bcgreg says: Jun 6, 2013 6:58 PM

    No kidding. This is why it’s a BAD IDEA!

  51. jsjax37 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:58 PM

    Why not expand the regular season to 18 games, and make the two additional games international games, one home, one away for each of the 32 teams each season. That will create 32 games per season for international consumption, and you can place a full complement of games in London, and spread the rest to other cities that might be interested in hosting games.

  52. seaeagle707 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:00 PM

    How about San Juan?

  53. redwingfan1234 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:01 PM

    How much good would a single team do in Europe? Why don’t they start an entire league over there so they can gather fans in every country?

    … Come again? Oh that’s right, Europe hates American football.

  54. doggeatdogg says: Jun 6, 2013 7:01 PM

    What’s that saying about doing the same thing and expecting different results? To Roger, Europe is not that into you.

  55. vtsquirm says: Jun 6, 2013 7:04 PM

    If he really wants to go somewhere with a lot of fans… Goodell should try China

  56. i10east says: Jun 6, 2013 7:08 PM

    More baseless speculation. If this, if that, if the Jags moved from Jax to London… Well IF my aunt had a pair of nads, she would be my uncle.

  57. flipola says: Jun 6, 2013 7:09 PM

    I’m sure Londoners are content with their Man U’s and Arsenals and the like. I doubt they’d have as much enthusiasm for the Silly Nannies.

    Yeah, probably the 100th Family Guy reference, but whatevs.

  58. furnhole says: Jun 6, 2013 7:10 PM

    No singing or chanting allowed. You’ll have to teach the Brits how to cheer, not sing those silly songs.

  59. whodatnhollywood says: Jun 6, 2013 7:15 PM

    Roger Goodell makes me SICK! LA has been without a team since 1994, yet you want to force an NFL team on London! Give us a break!

    They won’t even bring a preseason game to LA, yet they put two regular season contests in London! If anything, figure out a way to bring game ticket prices down along with $3o parking rates!

  60. outtamojo says: Jun 6, 2013 7:16 PM

    Have some hubris and DO NOT overexpand!

  61. colbysflow says: Jun 6, 2013 7:16 PM

    This is the worst idea Goodell has ever had. One of the stupidest ideas ever

  62. dirtysouthironmen says: Jun 6, 2013 7:22 PM

    I will watch the World Cup every four years, but I have never watched an MLS game. I would bet the same applies over in the UK.

    Let’s keep our American Football and they can watch the Super Bowl via satellite.

  63. outlawshark says: Jun 6, 2013 7:23 PM

    You think having a team in London is creating a stir? Imagine having the Super Bowl there.

  64. redrocker77 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:26 PM

    These London stories are getting ridiculous. Just stop.

  65. kwickett85 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:26 PM

    Doesn’t the NFL stand for the NATIONAL Football League? Keyword being ‘National’. What’s with all these Toronto and London games?? If you want to do London then do it in preseason. If you want to do Toronto….give their season ticket holders a big discount to come to Orchard Park, NY instead. Don’t take regular season games away from us in the states.

  66. britishraven says: Jun 6, 2013 7:30 PM

    Tax rate really isn’t that different. From what I found by quickly looking online: A single (I.e. not married) NFL player would be paying roughly 40% Federal Income Tax (above ~$400k) + x% state Income Tax (if applicable). Over here the top rate is 45% (though it does start considerably lower than $400k). I doubt there is much difference on a salary of say $1 million

  67. sonopazzo6 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:31 PM

    Don’t like the idea myself, but its bound to happen sooner or later……..just like the 18 game season……let’s get ahead of the curve and come up with a name for the new club………The London Beefeaters……The London Queensmen……..The London Beatles………or how about London Calling?

  68. fishyinalittledishy says: Jun 6, 2013 7:35 PM

    There is no chance a franchise will be created in London. People travel from all over the UK / Ireland / Europe to see the games and over time this will thin out if they increase that number . A permanent team playing eight games every year is to many games and can you imagine if the team was bad. There probably would be a honeymoon period and the league would do all they could to make London competitive but long term no chance, five seasons tops and after the flop my fear would be the league would run never to be seen again. One or two a year is plenty for us over here. Some of the people I have seen at these games I believe have no clue to what is going on probably dragged along for a weekend in London. What I am trying to say is give it 15 yrs or so wait for the light weights to get bored and then see we’re we are at.

  69. marcinhouston says: Jun 6, 2013 7:36 PM

    Free Agents hate to go to big cities like New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, etc so it makes sense that they would hate London. Everyone wants to play in Buffalo or KC. Plus people in London are really racist compared to people in the Southern USA.

  70. NoHomeTeam says: Jun 6, 2013 7:42 PM

    seaeagle707 says: Every thread about a London team gets someone saying, “What about Los Angeles?” Well, what about it? The Rams found it more lucrative to move to St.Louis. The Raiders came south to LALA land, then beat a hasty retreat back to Oakland. The XFL couldn’t make it in LA, and their only championship game was played there. Face it, Los Angeles is death for an NFL-franchise, and no owner today wants to risk losing big bucks there.

    Besides, San Diego is soooooo close.

    ***********************
    The Rams found it more lucrative because Georgia Frontieri and her chief fixer John Shaw managed to hoodwink the city of St. Louis into building them a new stadium at essentially no cost to the team.

    The Raiders were in Los Angeles for 12 seasons. That’s your definition of “hasty?”

    The XFL couldn’t make it anywhere.

    Invoking Georgia Frontieri, Al Davis, and Vince McMahon to buttress your opinion that an NFL franchise can’t succeed in L.A. isn’t the strongest argument there, Plato.

  71. alehleha says: Jun 6, 2013 7:44 PM

    The only way this could possibly be successful is to stick one of the best teams in the league there. You’re not going to develop a following having a perennial loser relocating there.

    Obviously, no successful team has any reason to relocate because they’re able to butts in seats.

    Not going to work.

  72. coachbeck says: Jun 6, 2013 7:49 PM

    That’s what they want. Is a Super Bowl in London.

    I am ok with a team going there. The browns should go. Would love to see that city get what it deserves.

    But Jax is cool too. I think a team there works. Salaries are salaries. Can’t players for a corporation for themselves and save some taxes

  73. poiuyt7 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:56 PM

    redwingfan1234 says:
    Jun 6, 2013 7:01 PM
    How much good would a single team do in Europe? Why don’t they start an entire league over there so they can gather fans in every country?
    ___________________

    They already tried that and it didn’t work. I don’t know why they think it will work this time.

    Is there anybody in the world who thinks this is a good idea except Roger Goodell?

  74. toddm1016 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:59 PM

    Bloody Hell

  75. AGMWorld says: Jun 6, 2013 8:06 PM

    If the NFL players don’t want to pay taxes in London, just live in the tax free state/ country that is Monaco. It’s just train ride away from London (I think).

  76. weaselpuppy says: Jun 6, 2013 8:12 PM

    If I’m a player, that means I have to leave my family, my posse, my food, familiarity and unconscious comfort level to go somewhere 4-6 time zones away where people (the general public, not some small subset) don’t love the game anywhere near how they do here, understand it not at all and generally speak a brand of english that your average 22 year old raised in the US (and especially in the hip hop or South subcultures) would find baffling at best….

    None of this makes any on the ground sense…just some Ivory Tower Mutual Intellectual Handjobbing sense.

    Mexico City is out for security and support reasons, Toronto is out as long as Buffalo is a franchise…Montreal is out because it’s a dirty Fake French wannabe town….expansion?

    Stick with the usual suspects….LA, San Antonio, Portland, Vegas, Phoenix…oh, they have a team there? really?…wow….alrighty then…

  77. pw1265 says: Jun 6, 2013 8:14 PM

    A London team is a complete joke. Do not worry about your “legacy”, worry about the NFL.

    Who in their right mind would want to travel that insane amount during the year…..no, this is beyond a stupid idea.

  78. zakgilbertprdirectoratlarge says: Jun 6, 2013 8:16 PM

    There is only one man who can make the NFL work in London. That man would be PR Director Zak Gilbert.

    He alone will bring Tim Tebow to QB the Fish-N-Chips and bring a World Championship to Cheerio London.

  79. fish751 says: Jun 6, 2013 8:40 PM

    A London Franchise, although a bad idea, will draw more fans than the soon to be disaster in LA.

  80. cags777 says: Jun 6, 2013 8:41 PM

    There is nothing wrong with “bold” ideas. However, this idea is beyond ridiculous.

  81. seaeagle707 says: Jun 6, 2013 8:44 PM

    NoHomeTeam- Sorry NoHome, your argument only reinforces mine. 12-years and GONE. I’d call that “hasty” compared to all of the years LA has been teamless. St Louis built a stadium. Not LA. LA didn’t build a stadium and LA doesn’t have a team, and LA isn’t likely to have one anytime soon.

  82. postaldude2012 says: Jun 6, 2013 8:56 PM

    Just Have London Pay for Everything if they want a team there!

  83. chrisnyg says: Jun 6, 2013 9:01 PM

    This is going to flop!
    Just bring back the world league. London Monarchs, Orlando Thunder, Barcelona dragons,….

  84. joe93955 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:07 PM

    If they put a team in London it will never when a super bowl its unfair to the player to make them live somewhere they don’t and never reach the prize they are after.

  85. croghan1919 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:08 PM

    Adding 1 team AND in Europe?
    So, currently the NFL has 2 conferences with 16 teams each. Each conference has 4 divisions with 4 teams each.
    Good luck making a schedule thats fair by adding 1 team AND in Europe.
    There are just WAY TO MANY reasons that make DON”T make sense by adding 1 team AND in Europe.
    If you’re just spit ball’n Roger that spit ball fell of the wall a LONG time ago.

  86. nananatman says: Jun 6, 2013 9:14 PM

    Bad idea, the NFL is not broke (or poor) so don’t fix it.

  87. slick50ks says: Jun 6, 2013 9:16 PM

    Why aren’t all NFL team stadiums filled with ‘FIRE GOODELL’ signs on every gameday?

  88. devinmr711 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:35 PM

    Who gives a damn about London having a football team??? I still haven’t gotten my UEFA Champions League team in America. There are plenty of states who don’t even have a NFL team. I want a NFL team in every state before London gets a team.

  89. mkos4513 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:49 PM

    So, offer a relo package as an incentive? Doesn’t that open up a can of worms. What about players moving between any U.S. city? They have relo expenses, maybe a higher cost of living, or higher state taxes. Yet, they don’t get extra compensation.

    Some current teams have issues with attendance or problems getting a new stadium deal. Not every major U.S. city can support a NFL team, so why do we think London can support a team? With the additional barriers that a London team may have (travel-geographics, building a fan base, attracting FAs, etc.) maybe this is just an all around bad idea.

  90. vikesandravens78 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:52 PM

    I don’t know why Gooddell is so obsessed with this idea. I’ve recently spent time in Ireland and London, and the vast majority of people I spoke with have a slight interest at best in the NFL. Even then, they don’t root for a team. I watched the Super Bowl in a local pub and everyone there cheered when something happened, regardless of the team. Soccer is the only major market sport that people care about there.

  91. tincansailor981 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:53 PM

    Goodell and that mustachioed weenie in Jacksonville are both frickin idiots. Move the team to LA or Honolulu even if you must move it. At least both those cities are American.

  92. nflfan1326 says: Jun 6, 2013 10:03 PM

    Does that accompanying picture of Wembley Stadium have tarps on it? Hmmm. there’s your answer.

  93. nflfan1326 says: Jun 6, 2013 10:06 PM

    AGMWorld must have gone to public school. I would take world out of my user name if I thought Monaco was a short train ride to London.

  94. tannethrill says: Jun 6, 2013 10:15 PM

    sounds complicated

  95. macker1283 says: Jun 6, 2013 10:15 PM

    Yea, they might be at a disadvantage. But no more a disadvantage than teams like Jax, Buffalo, Kansas City, Tennessee, or Carolina are already at being located in nowhere unattractive cities. Atleast London might be able to draw a consistant sold out crowd big enough where the team might be able to overpay enough to field a competitive team.

    And what is with this anti-London stuff from some in the media like this site and Peter King??? I don’t get it. I get anti 18 game season because of the injury and just overly long season argument, but this is about expanding the game to an international audience. Where you can create not only city rivalries but country or continent rivalries. (Cananda is like an extension of the US, lets face it) Theres nothing but positive that I see in this as a fan. It would be the NFL taking things to a level that really no other league has gone before. I don’t get the resistance. Its kind of creepy, like it has some shades of xenophobia involved or something.

  96. tannethrill says: Jun 6, 2013 10:25 PM

    Here’s my issue. Someone WILL get in trouble out there and it will become a serious situation.

    Frankly I wouldn’t take this product outside this continent until they could get past a year or two without ANY arrests. Right now that’s no where near realistic.

    Goodell should continue to focus on image and in order to do that this league needs to take a hands on approach with preventing players from being a menace.

    How I don’t know but I would start with more of a relationship with the NCAA.

  97. granadafan says: Jun 6, 2013 11:11 PM

    The higher tax rate in London (VAT sales tax, income, etc) was brought up several times already by us fans who have traveled or lived in London. I have family there and they have a much higher cost of living than I do in Los Angeles, which definitely isn’t cheap either. Still, London is one of the most exciting cities in the world.

  98. freedomispopular says: Jun 6, 2013 11:17 PM

    But it’s what the fans want!

  99. jets4gold says: Jun 6, 2013 11:19 PM

    I get the intention but this won’t work. who would wanna travel that far in a 17week period back and forth to London and the states? that would put a lot on the players and none of them would even want to play there. I get the idea of playing a few games but a team just won’t work. anyone remember NFL Europe? all were affiliated with NFL teams, like a minor league in hockey and baseball. they shut down because it wasn’t making money as it should. this idea will never work and will kill the league

  100. maatopdogg32 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:26 PM

    Well it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Goodell’s trying to make the NFL a global sport like Basketball and I don’t blame him. But before launching a franchise in London I would test the market over there by offering a NFL package of games like the Sunday Ticket to one of the premier broadcasters like maybe the BBC or SkyBSky which serves (England, Ireland, and Scotland) over there for free and see how many viewers they get (one game in London every year is not enough). If the result is positive I say green light it. London would definately have to be in a division that plays most of its games on the East coast (NFC East, AFC East). You wouldnt have to double the salary cap as the British pound is almost twice the value as the US dollar. The British govt is all about attracting outside foreign revenue so I’m sure they’ll be open to the NFL coming there and would offer certain tax incentives for players and personnel.

  101. mazblast says: Jun 6, 2013 11:26 PM

    Why should a London team be given higher cap room? Do current teams in high state income tax states such as the Raiders, 49ers, Chargers, Vikings, Redskins, Ravens, Jets, Giants, Bills, or Patriots get extra cap space?

    If not, why not? Why should teams in low- or no-state-income-tax states, such as the Dolphins, Jags, Buccaneers, Seahawks, Cowboys, or Texans, get an advantage?

    Oh, it’s because The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person WANTS it. That seems to be the anser to every problem associated with this idiotic idea.

  102. eagles512 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:45 PM

    It would be a debacle.

  103. jeremycrowhurst says: Jun 7, 2013 12:09 AM

    Okay, it’s one of the worst ideas ever, but the tax angle isn’t a problem. Keep the team’s corporate offices in the U.S., contracts entered into in the U.S., and it’s U.S. tax laws that apply. They’re just an American company playing ten games in London. (Nobody had to pay U.K. taxes on their paychecks from London games before now. Same principle applies.)

  104. pckrier says: Jun 7, 2013 12:36 AM

    Better yet Goodell while your at it, bring an NFL team to Stockholm. The Vikings would move there in a heartbeat. It will fit the name perfectly!!

  105. slick3 says: Jun 7, 2013 1:28 AM

    kane337 says:
    Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM
    I would play in London. The average career of a NFL player is only about 3.5 years. It would be great to live in another country for a few years.
    ____________________________________
    Join the Army. They’d be happy to oblige.

  106. kingpel says: Jun 7, 2013 1:33 AM

    Until we master tube travel, this is not feasible.

  107. hoochbcs says: Jun 7, 2013 1:51 AM

    If the NFL is going to do this, then they need to go all-in and create a Europe division. Paris, Spain or Ireland, you pick the city in Germany, and London.

    This way even in the inevitable 18 game schedule, those teams would play 2/3rds of their games in Europe.

    They could then schedule 3 back to back road trips to the US. The total travel schedule would be comparable to that of the Seahawks n some years.

  108. Robert says: Jun 7, 2013 2:58 AM

    Sorry the NFL can do what it wants. They have players lined up at the door.

    Any player not satisfied or happy can find another job in sports. For ever player that leaves- they have hundreds right behind them waiting to play.

    They will be able to produce free agents and sign them if the Jaguars move to London.

    If the players don’t like it, they can go play in another league, wait there is no other league that pays and owns the airwaves like the NFL.

    London Jaguars sounds great.

  109. ianb87 says: Jun 7, 2013 3:16 AM

    Wow, In amongst the decent and considered responses here is some of the most ill informed, xenophobic claptrap I have read in a long while.

    London is a wonderful city, and as a Londoner, I think we would be careful about taking lessons and advice on racial harmony and cuisine from a nation that ‘reportedly’ has its own huge and long standing issues in those areas and more.

    The reality is that some of the NFL teams cannot sell out their home games and London would. The rest of the issues around tax ( no one pays 95% tax) and living standards are all minor ones that of course would be addressed by either the British government or the league as a part of the franchise implementation plan.

    I would merely suggest that a percentage of the folks here open your minds to the opportunity that a global game would bring in the future and not be stuck thinking ” its my ball and you can’t play”

  110. northerntanned says: Jun 7, 2013 3:33 AM

    It’s interesting that many are so against the idea of exporting our great game. Nothing is ever gained by being static in life or business. Although on most subjects, I disagree with Mr. Goodell; however, on this one I do not. Expansion beyond the US boarders is inevitable. I believe that once the game learned by other cultures it will become even more popular as it is an amazing strategic game. I would love to see a American Football World Cup or even get it into the Olympics. When it is country against country than that is great rivalry. London is an amazing multicultural city, which may accept this “new” sport, or not. I believe much of American Football success in London or other cities outside of North America will depend on the delivery of the product. In this instance, my faith in Mr. Goodell is limited.

  111. joetoronto says: Jun 7, 2013 4:25 AM

    “I would hope that I was financially able to quit,” Whitworth told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

    Yup, he’s a Bungal.

  112. dallas88kj says: Jun 7, 2013 4:31 AM

    A few points on this:

    If you want the game to stay in America then stop calling the Super Bowl winners ‘World Champions’. It’s just arrogant to think you can be a world champion when you don’t include the world in your sport.

    There’s a massive fan base in the UK, and has been since the late 70′s/early 80′s, and it’s actually growing since the NFL started playing regular season games over here. There’s no danger of any blackouts over here.

    Remember that a lot of revenue is generated overseas in TV deals, merchandise, etc. Without that the players get paid less, the stadiums become more basic, etc.

    Look at how many non-US players were in this year’s draft. The growing interest in the NFL is spreading across the world.

    The Super Bowl should not be played outside of the US. Yes, try a franchise in London – but the Super Bowl is the marquee event of the entire season and belongs in the US.

    Why not try a franchise in London? If it fails then move them back to the US and never talk about it again. There’s plenty of examples of franchises not working, being re-located, etc, so one more won’t make a difference.

  113. psj3809 says: Jun 7, 2013 4:35 AM

    A London team would struggle to attract fans as many many fans have been following the NFL since the mid 80′s in the UK so we firmly have the team we follow.

    I follow the Raiders and can watch their games live home or away on NFL Gamepass (legal). So on a wet sunday evening do I travel 250 miles to London to see the ‘Jaguars vs Browns’ or do i stay in my house to watch live the Raiders game ? (no Raider jokes please !).

    Plus fans are so fickle, the London Monarchs were 9-1 in their first season attracting 50,000 fans a game, following year 3-9-1 and rarely hit 20,000 fans a game.

    The second the Jags, sorry when the Jags are losing fans will stay away. Keep it to one or two games a year as it is at the moment, the thought of an NFL franchise 20 years ago would have been a dream when 80,000 fans filled Wembley just to see a preseason game, but times have changed. Fanbases are created.

    Huge risk to have a London franchise and its sad to say that considering i live in England. But keep the NFL teams in America and have one or two games over here

  114. dallas88kj says: Jun 7, 2013 4:41 AM

    dirtysouthironmen says:
    Jun 6, 2013 7:22 PM
    I will watch the World Cup every four years, but I have never watched an MLS game. I would bet the same applies over in the UK.

    Let’s keep our American Football and they can watch the Super Bowl via satellite.

    Actually, you’d be surprised at the level of commitment here in the UK. Since the early 80′s there have been amateur leagues set up where the players ‘pay to play’ so the teams can afford the cost of hiring the facilities.

    Before the Internet and TV deals, a lot of fans used to listen to games via Armed Forces Radio with a weak signal that would drop in and out depending on the weather conditions.

    Every single game is available to view in the UK. Satellite TV (Sky TV) shows 3 live games per week (Thursday night, Sunday 1pm & 4.15pm games). Terrestrial TV shows Sunday night and Monday night games live, and the rest can be viewed live by subscribing to Game Pass. Sky TV has been showing live games since the 1990′s and continues to be a strong supporter (also showing Total Access, America’s Game, etc).

    In some ways, a fan in the UK is more committed to the game than those in the US because it’s not a national sport. A UK fan has to make the effort to follow the game rather than it being shoved down your throats in the media.

  115. themagicfanguy says: Jun 7, 2013 6:47 AM

    Unless Goodell has a blueprint for a new teleporter up his sleeve then this is foolishness. It’s hard enough to travel from coast to coast in this country, adding London to the mix is just ridiculous.

  116. oldcat157 says: Jun 7, 2013 7:47 AM

    London will happen. Look farther than a terrible team and low attendance.

    Having a NFL team in London would eventually lead to universities having American football. If you build the NFL’s greatest asset (student players), the NFL get stronger than it all ready is. This will to lead to other countries getting an NFL team. So on and so on.

    It may take 100 years. Buts that the plan.

  117. dallas88kj says: Jun 7, 2013 10:02 AM

    vikesandravens78 says:
    Jun 6, 2013 9:52 PM
    I don’t know why Gooddell is so obsessed with this idea. I’ve recently spent time in Ireland and London, and the vast majority of people I spoke with have a slight interest at best in the NFL. Even then, they don’t root for a team. I watched the Super Bowl in a local pub and everyone there cheered when something happened, regardless of the team. Soccer is the only major market sport that people care about there.

    _____________________________

    Sorry, but you’re obviously not talking to very many people. You should try talking to people that have more than a slight interest in the NFL. I’m pretty sure that most Americans that have a ‘slight interest’ in the NFL don’t root for a team and actually go to a game.
    And if you’ve been to Ireland then you should know that soccer is not the number one sport there anyway.

  118. dallas88kj says: Jun 7, 2013 10:29 AM

    psj3809 says:
    Jun 7, 2013 4:35 AM
    A London team would struggle to attract fans as many many fans have been following the NFL since the mid 80′s in the UK so we firmly have the team we follow.

    ________

    A good point – I certainly wouldn’t change my allegiance having been a Cowboys fan since the early 80′s, but there is a new generation of fans out there. Having the Jags build a fan base by playing a couple of games each year in London would help to gauge the interest first.

    _____________________________

    Plus fans are so fickle, the London Monarchs were 9-1 in their first season attracting 50,000 fans a game, following year 3-9-1 and rarely hit 20,000 fans a game.

    _______

    Is this any different to some of the struggling franchises in the US – or in any sport come to think of it? Plenty of the perennial ‘losers’ struggle to sell out their 8 home games and only the major teams sell out game after game. Take Chelsea in the EPL – before they started winning on a regular basis, their average attendance was in the late twenty thousands. Now it’s approx. 41 thousand.

  119. tpetaccia says: Jun 7, 2013 10:37 AM

    “A London NFL team could struggle to attract free agents”

    And Jacksonville doesn’t?

  120. trollaikman8 says: Jun 7, 2013 4:40 PM

    T.O., Chad Johnson and Jeff George at the helm.

    Tell me how that won’t get a wild card spot. That’s right, you cant

  121. satcheluk says: Jun 10, 2013 3:43 PM

    They should name them the London Beefeaters.

  122. nhstateline says: Jun 10, 2013 7:44 PM

    1) Places I can think of off the top of my head that should get a team before anywhere in Europe does:
    Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Los Angeles (2), San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Mexico City, Monterrey (MX) and Birmingham. 2) UK taxes start at 50% on income above like 60k and there’s the vat, and the petrol tax and on and on. Good luck recruiting players with that. 3) one of the things that’s made the NFL great is the small market teams get looked after. This would be looking after potentially the biggest market team in the league. No extra salary cap room. Either play by the same rules or don’t go there. 4) on the upside, there would be that 8 AM US East Coast tv package that would be created and it could be beamed to East Asia as prime time tv, the league will make a fortune showing live games across the globe at times when people could actually watch ( as does the EPL).

  123. lagg1 says: Jun 11, 2013 3:38 AM

    Could you imagine a WC team traveling to London? What is that 6 or 8 time zones? The league can look all it wants in Europe but there is minimal economic benefit. There is an economic law called the law of diminishing returns and I think the NFL may be approaching that point in the US. Sooner rather than later we will be watching our favorite teams on pay-per-view. This entire process of looking for added revenue is for that purpose (pay-per-view). We have tried everything fans now you must watch and pay for your favorite teams. My suggestion would be before you do that look at the current franchises and see how much each contributes to the value of the league and start looking at relocation scenarios.

  124. lagg1 says: Jun 11, 2013 3:54 AM

    Why should a London team be given higher cap room? Do current teams in high state income tax states such as the Raiders, 49ers, Chargers, Vikings, Redskins, Ravens, Jets, Giants, Bills, or Patriots get extra cap space?

    If not, why not? Why should teams in low- or no-state-income-tax states, such as the Dolphins, Jags, Buccaneers, Seahawks, Cowboys, or Texans, get an advantage?

    MAZBLAST stated this and he is absolutely correct. I hope shared revenue between the teams corrects this. As far as cities still large enough to support an NFL team besides LA-what about San Antonio. They would need a dome because of the heat. The same could be said for Austin Texas or El Paso. Bothe cities are larger in population than Baltimore or Washington.

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