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Thread: should the NFL support the start of a true minor league

  1. #1
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    should the NFL support the start of a true minor league

    Since this is the start of the slowest part of the off season. At time where even the most die hard Jet fans must be getting tired of the non-stop back slapping about how great their team is. ;) I thought I'd open a non contentious football topic in hope I might get a reasonable discussion going.

    Back in the day (1969), I played "minor league" football in Atlantic Coast league, which had teams running from Quincy MA to Richmond VA (also Hartford, Bridgeport, LI, Harrisburg and Pottstown PA, and Roanoke. Each team had a financial affiliation with an NFL team. Obviously I played for the Quincy Giants which was with the Pats, the BridgeportCT Jets was the Jets team.

    The money was good. The $250 I made per game was actually more than I was making per week as a first year History teacher ($175/wk). There was even a guy who made $100,000 that year, so clearly some guys were making more. :D

    I'm sure some of the old timers on the board would remember the LI Bulls (Giants) and Bridgeport Jets. But I digress

    After 1970 when the merger came into full effect, one of the condition was that teams had to dissolve any financial relationships with "minor league" teams...and the league pretty much died.

    At patsfans there was a pretty lively discussion on whether the league should once again make the attempt to start up a developmental "minor league". People were pretty much divided on the issue, and even among those who liked the idea, the structure of how it could work varied greatly.

    Here was my suggestion. BTW I'm sure there are a lot criticisms that can be made, most because in the interest of brevity details are going to be missed. But I hope you get the jist.

    The key to success, IMHO is that every team take on affiliation with a minor league team, but instead of one minor league, I would start 4 eight team leagues based REGIONALLY in close proximity to the parent city. (say one in the Northeast, SE, Mid-West- and West.

    The teams would play around a 12 game schedule that would start 2 weeks before the NFL season. Where possible they would play in the NFL stadium of the parent club. When it isn't in a local college venue.

    The benefits for the Parent club would be to have a resource of 45 man roster who are using your semantics (language), running your plays, and defensive system. You could eliminate the need for the practice squad and drop the roster back to 45 players, saving 4-5MM/year in salaries. The coaches wouldn't ***** since instead of having an 8 man practice squat, you now had available a 45 man "practice team" The minor league team could be used for 2 days a week to run scout teams, saving wear and tear of the 45 man roster during the week.

    Since the league season would be over in after week 10, I'd let the teams expand their rosters to 53 and add 8 guys from their minor league team, like baseball does with the September call ups. It would also be a good feeding ground for not only players, but coaches and FO personell

    Financially it should work out as well. I believe that you could find 32 rich guys would would like to get into sports ownership. If they plunked down $10-20MM, it would be short money to get a foot in the door, and between the writeoffs and depreciation, it would be worth it if they didn't take in a cent at the gate and merchandising. Just using the synergy to profit from the relationship with the NFL franchise and there own corporate entities. Most of them would do it just for right to go to the NFL's annual meeting

    If their rosters averaged $45K/player the payroll would be slightly less than $2MM. If they averaged 30,000 at $30 average/ticket, that would be around $6MM in gate receipts for the 6 home games. I think the parent team should put up $4MM, and I'll estimate $1MM in broadcast and merchandising. That's around $11MM receipts against a $2MM payroll, so the teams should have a decent chance of breaking even

    I think 30,000 is a reasonable expectation. At $30/ticket a fan who doesn't get a chance to see an NFL game either because he can't afford it or can't get a seat, would have the chance to see competitive professional football with his kids, related to the team be loves at a reasonable price. There are just too many examples of successful minor league baseball franchises for it not to be possible if its well managed. I think in the SE and other areas where football is bigger, the numbers could be higher

    OK Feel free to refute it, dismiss it, or I hope, improve on the model

  2. #2
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    i think this would have to be necessary especially if they go to an 18 game season. this would give the team some fresh legs near the end of the season and the playoffs.

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    I think if the NFL wants a minor league, they're going to buy the UFL. After their soft launch last year, the UFL looks as if their second season is where they're going to try to make their mark. They've moved two teams to smaller cities, added two new teams, and picked up some notable players, the biggest one being Daunte Culpepper.

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    College football is free to the NFL and it acts as a minor league.....

    why would the NFL need this?

    Baseball is the only sport with a TRUE minor leauge where pro's go down for re hab etc... but the reality is very few players as a percentage in any sport (hockey,baseball) stay in the minors very long.

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    unnecessary, completely unnecessary


    The NFL has the NCAA to provide them with exactly what is being talked about at no cost

    The NBA has High Schools and Freshman years attending no classes to do the same thing

    Why pay for infrastructrure that isn't needed?

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    For purely selfish reasons, I'd like to see it start in April and run through say, the end of June. I think I can get into watching a "jets minor league team" and scouting possible future nfl'ers.

    I think you have to say $100,000 average, at least per player. This include salaries and benefits.

    I don't think the NCAA arguments against it hold up. Baseball has two robust systems--ncaa and minor league. In the OP's league, maybe a kid goes right from HS into the minors. Hence, why it would be a sea-change and won't happen easily.

    So the minor league can have a combo of NFL'ers working on technique, HS'ers and college drop-outs going into the minors, and guys who for whatever reason have skills. I like it.

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    Unnecessary as of this moment, but if the league expands the season, the need to also expand team rosters should go hand in hand with this. With the additional "scrubs" that would be added to NFL rosters, a developmental league would give these marginal players a chance to hone their skills and help improve overall quality of the NFL product under that scenario.

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    There are many " semi-pro" or sandlot football leagues all over the uniter states. and they did for some time have an affiliation with the NFL. i played on the Scranton eagles of the EFL.( emipre football league). I played for 9 years and we were affiliated with the buffalo bills. I recieved 289 bucks per week during the season. i played from 1987-1996. After the 1991 season they took away our Stipen check because it made you NCAA ineligible. Many players went from the EFL to Div 1 schools and the NFL. i played against Eric Swan who played with the AZ Cards. The onlt thing that I know of that the Bills did for our team was donate the jersey's, lease our field for us and keep all of our Admin records. I saw Marv Levy multiple times at games, but never spoke to him. When i retired in 1996 I received a Letter from the bills/eagles thanking me for my years of service to their team....I do not know any players from my old team that actually played for the bills. So I dont know why they helped us...

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    [QUOTE=murphklecko73;3633508]There are many " semi-pro" or sandlot football leagues all over the uniter states. and they did for some time have an affiliation with the NFL. i played on the Scranton eagles of the EFL.( emipre football league). I played for 9 years and we were affiliated with the buffalo bills. I recieved 289 bucks per week during the season. i played from 1987-1996. After the 1991 season they took away our Stipen check because it made you NCAA ineligible. Many players went from the EFL to Div 1 schools and the NFL. i played against Eric Swan who played with the AZ Cards. The onlt thing that I know of that the Bills did for our team was donate the jersey's, lease our field for us and keep all of our Admin records. I saw Marv Levy multiple times at games, but never spoke to him. When i retired in 1996 I received a Letter from the bills/eagles thanking me for my years of service to their team....I do not know any players from my old team that actually played for the bills. So I dont know why they helped us...[/QUOTE]

    That's pretty neat.

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    I think a minor league is a decent idea. The UFL seems to be marketing themselves as a sort of minor league as it is. I wouldn't be surprised if the league makes it for three years plus that they go that way.

    The need for a minor league is not talent based, but rather, financial. Yes we have NCAA to provide the preparation and support, BUT, once these guys don't make it to the NFL they are DONE. Who takes care of them?

    There have been plenty of folks in the past that have made it big in the NFL as undrafted or late round picks. These are the guys that may not have blossomed in a college based system, but did very well with real football men.

    I support the idea, simply to keep the college players that dont make it right away fighting for a second chance.

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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;3633480][B]College football is free to the NFL and it acts as a minor league.....
    [/B]
    why would the NFL need this?

    Baseball is the only sport with a TRUE minor leauge where pro's go down for re hab etc... but the reality is very few players as a percentage in any sport (hockey,baseball) stay in the minors very long.[/QUOTE]

    I don't buy that at all. If college is a suitable minor league, then why are their so many "system" players whose skills will never translate to the NFL?

    A minor league would allow guys to make the transition to the NFL faster. I mean what's better for a player's development; sitting on the bench for a few years, or getting playing time in pro style system against good, but not great players in a minor league?

    If it weren't for minor league football, guys like Kurt Warner, Brad Johnson, or even our own Brandon Moore never would have made it.

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    [QUOTE=GreekMooMan;3633517]I think a minor league is a decent idea. The UFL seems to be marketing themselves as a sort of minor league as it is. I wouldn't be surprised if the league makes it for three years plus that they go that way.[/QUOTE]

    Believe it or not some NFL coaches are already treating the UFL like a minor league of sorts. There's been reports that some undrafted players who tried out for NFL squads were sent to UFL teams on the NFL coach's recommendations.

    It wouldn't shock me if the UFL and NFL already have a handshake deal in place. The UFL's management is made up of a lot of guys with strong NFL ties.

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    [QUOTE=RexRutha;3633495]For purely selfish reasons, I'd like to see it start in April and run through say, the end of June. I think I can get into watching a "jets minor league team" and scouting possible future nfl'ers.

    I think you have to say $100,000 average, at least per player. This include salaries and benefits.

    I don't think the NCAA arguments against it hold up. Baseball has two robust systems--ncaa and minor league. In the OP's league, maybe a kid goes right from HS into the minors. Hence, why it would be a sea-change and won't happen easily.

    So the minor league can have a combo of NFL'ers working on technique, HS'ers and college drop-outs going into the minors, and guys who for whatever reason have skills. I like it.[/QUOTE]

    $100,000...LMFAO (in all respect of course) , I can guarantee that the salary would be half that. On par with practice team salary if that. Minor league hockey salaries for example are LESS than 50K for 90 percent of the players.


    It is VERY VERY expensive to run a team, a league etc... and where will that money come from.


    Hofstra couldn't draw anyone... what makes you think a minor league will.

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    Why subject the draftees to risk injury?

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    I like it

    As a fan I like it. The affiliation with the NFL team gives you someone to root for. Not sure about the season, maybe the April idea is better. I think it would draw better in April for the football junkies.

    I'm not sure the NFL likes the idea. They tried the WFL and the had some level of finacial interest in the Arena league, both went belly up. But maybe the NFL tie-in is the key, like the Startn Island Yankees. So we could have the "NEW YORK" Jets playing at Columbia University.

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    [QUOTE=Colemonster;3633504]Unnecessary as of this moment, but if the league expands the season, the need to also expand team rosters should go hand in hand with this. With the additional "scrubs" that would be added to NFL rosters, a developmental league would give these marginal players a chance to hone their skills and help improve overall quality of the NFL product under that scenario.[/QUOTE]


    I heard Gil Brandt on Siruis readio talking about this and it is being discussed. This could also be another bone or barginning chip the owners can offer players by offering more jobs.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=sourceworx;3633541]Believe it or not some NFL coaches are already treating the UFL like a minor league of sorts. There's been reports that some undrafted players who tried out for NFL squads were sent to UFL teams on the NFL coach's recommendations.

    It wouldn't shock me if the UFL and NFL already have a handshake deal in place. The UFL's management is made up of a lot of guys with strong NFL ties.[/QUOTE]

    +1 between UFL and NCAA there's no need for a minor league

    fwiw i think a minor league model would be very tough on these guys bodies, in baseball they send guys down to get regular reps, in football the more reps you take at a position like running back the lower your value becomes.

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    Sorry feasible ideas with intellectual discussion is not allowed on JI.

    Its been soon long since a good thread has been made its seems that way. Anyway......

    I certainly think its possible but I dont think it will happen. There is already enough leagues with the UFL, CFL, and AFL to support the development of players, not to mention college football.

    We had NFL Europe which was the closest thing to a minor league as you can get without actually having one. It really didnt work.

    Part of the problem is Football is a very expensive sport so funding may be a problem for every team to have a farm team. Some of these teams cant even get fans in there own stadium let alone a talentless minor league.

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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;3633564]$100,000...LMFAO (in all respect of course) , I can guarantee that the salary would be half that. On par with practice team salary if that. Minor league hockey salaries for example are LESS than 50K for 90 percent of the players.


    It is VERY VERY expensive to run a team, a league etc... and where will that money come from.


    Hofstra couldn't draw anyone... what makes you think a minor league will.[/QUOTE]

    Yea--$100,000 is too much relative to the current minor league systems. But if this league began recruiting HS and College players, then we could see potential salaries much higher. Not going to happen though so I agree with you and I'm so damn happy I made you laugh--really, it makes my day.

    I think a minor league team with the affiliation to a specfic NFL team can draw and even get TV money. Just keep all the rules the same as in the NFL. A major reason I don't watch CFL or any other league is because of the different rules.

    On another note, one thing I can't get enough of is Australian rules football. If only we could get a league of that going in the USA--March through June.

  20. #20
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    In theory, I like it. It would be a replacement, in a sense, of NFL Europe in that teams could have their developmental guys get some playing experience. I wonder how player movement would work. Could you poach a guy from a minor league team, midseason? How long would you have rights to a player? It would suck to be a guy that's talented but stuck behind a few guys on the NFL roster but not able to move to another team.

    It'd be pretty cool to head over to CW Post/Hofstra (or the Red Bulls Stadium) and catch a game on a Thursday night. Similar to going to see the SI Yankees or Cyclones.

    I think you might be underestimating the costs though. Seems like it would cost a fortune to maintain a minor league team with facilities, salaries, equipment, insurance, etc.

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