Longtime NFL betting fans remember the failure that was NFL Europe. In an effort to create an environment for younger players to get the game experience they need to transition to the professional level the NFL created a European league. Ultimately, the league proved too costly to maintain and in 2007 the NFL announced that NFL Europe (at the time called NFL Europa) would be discontinued. The final game that was played in the European league was between the Hamburg Sea Devils and the Frankfurt Galaxy. The Devils emerged victorious 37 – 28 in front of an audience of 48,000. While the Super Bowl averages around 70,000+ plus fans, 48,000 still reflects a modest interest in the sport. Unfortunately that interest was not enough to cover the expenses of the league as the NFL reported losing $30 million annually when it was funding the European league. Now it seems certain players are expressing the need for minor league football, leaving NFL betting fans wondering; what are the chances of the NFL actually forming a minor league.
Jarryd Hayne, who is now retired from the NFL, recently made comments to The New Zealand Herald regarding his inability to transition from being a rugby star to a successful NFL player.
“I need to be getting game time and you just can’t get that over there [in the NFL] because of the way it works,” Hayne stated in the interview. “If there was a second division team where I could get those mental reps of being on the field, 100 per cent I’d go back to the NFL.”
Hayne’s main conundrum with the current state of American Football is that the NFL does not provide opportunities for foreign athletes to successfully transition into the sport. The NFL is one of the most competitive sports league’s in the US and teams aren’t going to risk losing a game in order to give a player – especially a foreign one – the repetitions he needs in order to successfully compete at the professional level. NFL betting fans want to see their teams win, not try to fill the roster with names they can’t pronounce. While Hayne might have been able to find a home deep on some team’s roster, the Australian would not have been content on the bench. Being a third stringer is not an option that Hayne is considering because he’s aware that his athletic career is coming to an end.
The NFL preseason is in place to help give players some reps, but the games themselves are geared towards seeing how individuals perform, instead of development. The NFL relies mostly on college football to develop players, and the NCAA does it for free. Even though college football is more about finding immediate success than player development, it still puts out plenty of talent for the draft each year. Most rookies have a good amount of work to do in order to compete at the NFL and seeing minor league football become a reality would open up doors for many athletes who don’t have a straight path to professional football. At the end of the day you can bet on NFL’s administrators to try and cut spending anyway they can. Hayne’s dream of a minor football league will more than likely go unfulfilled.