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Old 09-06-2019, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
If this is true—and I have no reason to believe that you're wrong—then I wonder whether the NFL's reliance on college football might not hurt as much as it helps. Sure, the NFL gets a massive pool of talent to draw from, without paying a nickel. But it is also limited in a way that, say, AAA baseball is not.

I wonder if the NFL would benefit from a professional "minor league" that would field not only kids fresh out of college (or even high school), but that might also give a talented player some time to develop experience in a venue that's not as tough as the big time, but that might be bigger and faster and more akin to the pros than college football is.

I know this isn't going to happen, of course, but I wonder whether it might allow for the development of more experienced players for the league to choose from.
I’ve long hoped that the NFL would get a minor league system like MLB, but recently my opinion has been changing. I think that it wouldn’t work. Football can’t do what baseball does, because the sports are too different. Football uses up a player’s body in ways that baseball doesn’t. If you take a player out of college, put them in a minor league, and let them play for a few years to get experience then by the time they’re “ready” their body might be used up.

Let’s look at running backs. You draft a guy who’s 23. You put him on your developmental team. He plays for 3 years, grinds it out, and shows he’s ready for the NFL. Now you have a 26-year-old who might play for a few years before he is too banged up.

A baseball player peaks around age 29, and a successful player retires between the ages of 33 and 40. NFL players peak around age 25 and retire around age 30. (Kickers and QBs who aren’t slamming into other people on a regular basis are more like MLB players in terms of peak years and retirement.) That smaller window for football players makes a developmental league less attractive. You’d rather draft a young guy with talent, give him a year maybe to play with limited snaps or in an otherwise limited role, then in his second year try playing him full time. You don’t want to use him up getting him ready.