NFL exploring creation of developmental league

LONDON—With the United Football League, a proving ground for some young players, in a dire financial situation it appears a potential development system for the NFL is fading away.

But the league is exploring the possibility of launching its own developmental league in the spring. That’s when the NFL used to send its brand of ball abroad with NFL Europe, a project that eventually went belly up because it was a money loser for owners.

But commissioner Roger Goodell said Saturday afternoon at a fan form Q&A at the Landmark Hotel that the idea is being investigated, but that it will not be a commercial venture, meaning there won’t be teams spread across the United States.

“What we’re evaluating internally is should we have a developmental league?” Goodell said. “I would argue that I would not make commercial. We brought NFL Europe over here it was in part to expose our game to more fans. And that was wonderful. On the other hand, people wanted to see the real thing, whether they are in Europe or in the United States, you want to see real football and the best players playing in competitive games.

"So, we might consider an additional developmental league that would play likely in the spring, but I don’t think I would make it commercial so I don’t see franchises all over the country. We would probably would hook up in a single location of play. We have people evaluating that and it’s something that long-term would be good for the game.”

Stay tuned on this matter.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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