Maurice Jones-Drew: London deserves an NFL team

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Running back Maurice Jones-Drew made the trip to London last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars for their regular season game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Now with the Oakland Raiders, Jones-Drew will make another trip to London this season as the Raiders will face the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in September.

The talk about the possibility of a full-time NFL team based in London has grown over the past several seasons as the league as expanded its presence in England. Jones-Drew believes the time for an NFL team in London is getting closer.

You know what? I think they deserve one.” Jones-Drew said, via Neil Reynolds of BritViewNFL.com.“…I think the fans deserve it and London deserves it because it is a great city.”

For the first time, the NFL hosted two games in London in the same season last year as the Jaguars played the 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Minnesota Vikings. That program continues to grow this year with three games in London. The Raiders and Dolphins will meet Sept. 28, the Detroit Lions will face the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 26 and the Dallas Cowboys will face the Jaguars on Nov. 9.

The Jaguars are already locked into playing games in London in 2015 and 2016 as well.

Jones-Drew understands the difficulty inherent to basing a team in London when the rest of the league plays in the United States. He said the travel would be the most difficult factor to overcome in making an English franchise a reality.

“My only worry is the toll it would take for a team to go back and forth and how would you get that done?” Jones-Drew said. “There are some things they would have to work on – they might have to bring the Concorde back and cut that time in half. But you never know.”

The NFL is obviously intrigued by the possibility a London franchise presents. The league has played eight games in London over the past seven years with each game drawing at least 75,000 in attendance. It’s a shiny, lucrative potential market the league hopes to tap into in the future.

However, there are still hurdles to clear before that dream can become realized.

62 responses to “Maurice Jones-Drew: London deserves an NFL team

  1. Maurice – Why does London “deserve” a team ahead Los Angeles, which happens to be the second largest city in the US?
    London is a very great international city but make no mistake its passion will always be soccer.

  2. Yeah nothing spiteful about that comment towards Jags fans huh Maurice?? They love their team, lay off. Its Oakland you should be worried about. That place is like purgatory for veterans.

  3. They probably do deserve a team and the thought of it would be nice. But realistically, NFL players DON’T want to play for them, as some players already came out and said they would retire if they ended up playing for them. Not to mention, traveling would be EXHAUSTING! I mean, imagine if they have to play at San Diego, San Francisco, and Oakland in one season… Screw. That!

  4. I think they should have invested more into expanding into Canada & Mexico, which would have avoided the time-zone issues that come with playing in Europe.

  5. Just before Jones-Drew mentioned Concorde I was thinking that’s the way it’ll happen, 7/8 hours flight there and back every week, way too much. But please bring a franchise here, we do love you!!!

  6. Either London or their opponent would have to compete jet lagged each week. Doesn’t seem fair. Seems like it would be an epic fail for so many reasons but hey roger does what roger wants

  7. A team in London would struggle. Maybe not financially, but imagine if they played in Oakland followed by a home game followed by in San Diego. That would be a nightmare for travel. And you can’t exempt them from Thursday night games. No matter how good a team is, they’d be exhausted from the lack of proper rest.

  8. I live in the UK, keep it as it is. Have a handful of games every year but i wouldnt base a team in the UK

    Most fans here have been folllowing a team for 10-25 years. We get live games every sunday via Gamepass, i’m not going to miss watching the Raiders live on a sunday on my computer to drive 300 miles late on a sunday to watch the ‘London Jaguars’ etc, a team i dont care about.

    An expansion team would be more tempting but not an existing team who cant sell out their stadium in the US.

    Keep the teams in the US but keep doing a few games like this every year

  9. It works fine as a 1 off thing because NFL fans from across Europe help ensure a sellout. A full time team will be irrelevant quickly, especially since the NFL would be taking place the same time as soccer season. It will be a failure and the team will be at a massive disadvantage for attracting players. The NFL needs to give up on this pipe dream.

  10. ““You know what? I think they deserve one.” Jones-Drew said, via Neil Reynolds of BritViewNFL.com.“…I think the fans deserve it and London deserves it because it is a great city.””

    Translation:

    “I was sentenced to play in Jacksonville and I think other players should be similarly miserable and sentenced to play in London”

  11. Raider nation and England’s soccer hooligans would be like 2 peas in a pod. Just the type of crazy thing Al would be into.

  12. The logistics just don’t work. If Goodell wants to get the nfl in Europe then start a league, then after the Super Bowl the nfl and efl could play for a world title.

  13. “…they might have to bring the Concorde back…”
    ———————————————————————
    From the ashes. Literally.

  14. London deserves nothing. It’s a great place to visit, and they will appreciate football as long as it is a novelty, but the truth is they couldn’t even keep NFL Europe afloat with their lack of support, and don’t say that that was due to the lack of star players. I don’t believe that for a second. They would support it for a couple seasons – if that. Then the attendance would dip. I hope it never happens, but if it does it will be shown to be a mistake far within 5 years.

  15. This is funny stuff … MoJo knows exactly what he’s doing here … He knows good and well how this statement plays on the anxieties of his former Jacksonville fans. #londonjaguars

  16. I see the standard dumbing down of the players when they reach Oakland is in full swing.

  17. Logistically, it just wouldn’t work. And they already tried a European league of American football, and that failed, too. London will just have to make do with the current one or two games a year that they get.

  18. Los Angeles has already had two football teams and didn’t seem to be able to keep either one in town (the Rams and Raiders). Why do they deserve another one?

    London, England is a HUGE market…larger than just about any US market for a team. It makes sense for the NFL to expand to Europe because it has tapped out the growth potential in America.

    I have stated all along that the main obstacle in the way of a team in London is the logistics. Travel would be a nightmare for them and for the teams that have to go play them. Then there is how their contracts are paid…are they in US Dollars or Pounds? If you think this isn’t an issue then you haven’t followed MLB teams in Canada (The Former Montreal Expos, and the Toronto Blue Jays).

    In order for it to work I think a team in London would have to have its own division in Europe for it to make sense. The divisional games all get played in Europe and then those teams don’t have to make those long trips as much to play other teams. Thing is, can the NFL support 3 new franchises in Europe or find 4 teams willing to relocate to Europe?

  19. I picture Goddell handing Maurice a roll of hundreds after Maurice said that.

    “Thanks, Mo. Next time you get in trouble with the law, I’ll waive the suspension…”

  20. Hey Maurice, I “deserve” a million dollars, but if I get it in London, the tax bill will be 65%… I’m sure you will have no problem with the London Salary Cap…. a bit different than the Florida 0% State Tax bill!….

  21. The “dream” could pretty easily become a nightmare. A couple games a year can’t predict long-term success. If it did then bands wouldn’t have to tour, they’d just sell out the same arena in the same city every single week.

    Constantly forgotten is the fact the Monarchs folded up shop several years before the rest of NFL Europe closed down. The league offices were there, they won a title early on, everything was in place for them to succeed but they didn’t. It’s quite possible a real NFL team would suffer the same fate.

  22. How much does MJD hate the jags…jeez !!. London deserves a team? What? I’m sure i can speak for 95% of all NFL fans. having a team in London is just stupid. That pretty much guarantee’s that those 8 home games in London won’t have “real” NFL fans..but a bunch of soccer fans who have no clue what the NFL really is. I agree that that Jacksonville fans are not going to home games and selling out their home games. But, the product the jags put on the field every year is the problem..not the fans. L.A. also didn’t support the NFL. I’m sick of everybody saying L.A. deserves a team also. They had 2 and the couldn’t sell out on a regular basis for yrs. If you want to move a team to an area that would support a team. How about Norfolk, V.A. ( I was stationed there for yrs when i was in the service) and thatarea has over 1 million fans in a 25 square mile radius that are rabid fans. Its also a meca for NFL talant so local players would get the fans excited. How about Las Vegas’s ? Oklahoma City ? Putting a team over sea’s in Europe isn’t fair to the players on the team. They would either have to move their family’s across the pond or not see them for the season. The NFL needs to address the city’s here that have owners that are only in the NFL to make money, not put winning teams on the field. Moving a team across the pond is as dumb as making it a penalty for celebrating a TD in the (N)o (F)un (L)eague

  23. For the ones that always talking about the jags not selling out there game stop talking about something you no nothing about. The jags have had no blackouts for the last 4 seasons stop listening to the media and do your home work. As for LA getting another team you are right they don’t deserve one had two did not work . As far as blackouts talk to SD,TB , Miami they will be able to answer those questions.

  24. I don’t like the Jaguars but these articles are getting very old and lame Why not move the Jags instead of talking about over and over again and MJD is a used up holdout type player who wants more money

  25. He figures it’ll be a team no one wants to go to. AKA another team that will give him a chance after the Raiders see how much he sucks.

  26. London’s the capital of the world and people pay fortunes to live there, according to some of the commenters on this thread however, it would be HELL for American footballers to be forced to live there, actually they’d probably hate it because nobody would know who they are, it’s not just soccer, football will always come after rugby and cricket too..

  27. Awe hell no! They’re already talking about a possible Super Bowl there which would be crazy!! Why do they deserve one???

  28. Hey MJD….London needs a NFL Team just like Oakland needs a Running Back. Pipe dreams homie. Lay off the pipe my boy.

  29. Nothing against London, but there are plenty of U.S. markets should get an NFL team.

    L.A., San Antonio, Memphis, Birmingham and, to a lesser extent, Vegas deserve at least serious consideration. Think of the possible natural rivalries…

  30. Nice post! I am so opposed to international expansion. Why? The NFL is a pig in butter rolling in cash. I guarantee you, London isnt the end of it. Then comes Japan, China, Mexico, Canada and another spot in Europe.

    This is gonna get messy. Will have to wake up at 3am to watch the SB live. So much for the parties.

  31. All done, last stop- oakland, 30 year old RB with Little man syndrome bitter about the rebuilding jags making another in a long list of smart moves. You are so subtle smart guy….. oh Remember when the jags tore up your rookie deal when you were great, gave you a top RB deal for 5 yrs…..then a few years later you held out? Or last year when you sucker punched a bouncer and hid with your posse? Jacksonville fans do……

  32. Oakland deserves a decent running back too and yet, all they have is you and McFragile.

  33. Example of why it would not work;

    So I am a free agent currently playing on the West Coast of Calif. Now, instead of telling my family we are moving to the East Coast (which is a tough sell I am sure to the family, but doable) I am going to tell them we are moving to another country??!! “Oh, and Honey it is a country not named Canada Sweetheart”.

    RIGHT!!!! no problem!! LOL!!

    The London Monarchs would lose out on potential free agents year in and year out. That alone, should and could make it almost impossible. Being shut out of the free agency market would obviously hinder their chance at competing at the highest level in this league.

    Late…

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