The NFL can try to force a team in London, but the players will always hate it

Frank Schwab

The NFL is interested by the idea of having a team in London. This isn't a big secret. Really, it's something that makes sense to all the NFL suits but pretty much nobody else.

Some marketing folks probably get excited about becoming a "global brand," and owners probably love the idea of more money (I'm still skeptical that one team in London really brings the profit margins up that much for a league that makes billions already). Have you ever met anyone else who is excited about the idea? Probably not.

Here's one important group that absolutely hates the idea: NFL players.

With Minnesota and Pittsburgh playing in London on Sunday, there were another round of stories asking players what they would think about playing for a team based in London. And all I can say is, good luck signing any free agents, future London NFL team.

"I'd retire before going to London," Steelers safety Ryan Clark told ESPN.

"Just personally speaking, I probably wouldn't sign over here because of the fact that every road trip is going to be three, four, five days away from your family," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen told the Star-Tribune.

"All your family is back in the United States. Who would do that?" Eagles linebacker Trent Cole told ESPN.com.

"If that happens, it's a clear vision that they don't really care about the players' safety," Panthers receiver Steve Smith told ESPN.com. They care about their pockets. And I think that is messed up."

The ESPN.com story was illuminating, because among a group of players the site asked, only Eagles center Jason Kelce was excited about the idea. Everyone else said they wouldn't sign with a London team, although Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson had the most honest answer when he said, "I'd be up for the challenge ... if they paid me. More than I get paid here. You know what I'm saying?"

Johnson has a $72 million deal over six years with Carolina, by the way.

Would high draft picks simply refuse to go play there, like Eli Manning and John Elway did? If the Bills had to overpay defensive end Mario Williams $96 million to come to Buffalo, how much would a London team have to offer to get an elite free agent? Paying free agents twice as much as the market thinks they are worth, or filling a team with castoffs who couldn't find a job with the other 31 U.S.-based teams is not a long-term plan in a sport with a salary cap.

Perhaps the NFL will still try to force this regrettable idea down everyone's throats. But doing so would prove the league is being pretty tone deaf on the issue.

- - -
Hit us up on Twitter @YShutdownCorner, email us at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com and "Like" Shutdown Corner on Facebook for NFL conversation 365 days a year, the way it should be.

  • Nicole Williams and NFL Player Larry English Are Engaged!

    Nicole Williams and Larry English are set to tie the knot after the 30-year-old NFL player popped the question to his longtime girlfriend on the season finale of WAGS. PEOPLE has the exclusive clip from the moment English took a knee to ask Williams for her hand in marriage. When English traveled to Thailand to surprise Williams, his romantic gesture nearly backfired after she freaked out that she didn't know his whereabouts.

    People
  • Joe Rogan: ‘I’m Not Doing It Anymore’

    UFC commentator Joe Rogan has been critical about interviewing fighters moments after they’ve suffered a knockout for years, but after UFC 203, Rogan has put his foot down and refuses to do it anymore. “It’s something I had suggested a long time ago, back when we interviewed Mirko Crop Cop (Filipovic) after (Gabriel) Gonzaga knocked him out,” said Rogan during his podcast. The straw that broke the camel’s back for the broadcaster came at UFC 203 on Sept. 10. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic knocked out Alistair Overeem in the fight card’s main event. Following the loss, as has been customary, Rogan asked Overeem about the defeat moments after the fighter regained consciousness. Overeem said

    MMAWeekly
  • The Latest: Names released in Jose Fernandez boat crash

    The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's Office is releasing the names of the two men who died in a boat crash that also killed Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. Director of Operations Darren Caprara said Monday that 27-year-old Emilio Macias and 25-year-old Eduardo Rivero died when the 32-foot boat slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach. The 24-year-old Fernandez had been scheduled to start against the New York Mets on Monday night in Miami.

    Associated Press
  • Ty Montgomery Finds NFL Loophole to Gain 37 Yards

    Leave it to a Stanford alum to find and exploit an NFL rule that would begin a touchdown drive. Ty Montgomery made a 37-yard play for the Green Bay Packers not because of his athleticism, but because of this: On the kickoff, the Detroit Lions sprung the ball to the three-yard line. Montgomery stepped out of bounds and dove on top of the ball while his feet were out of bounds. The Lions were then penalized for kicking the ball out of bounds, and instead of starting on the 3-yard line, the Packers got the ball on the 40. Four players later, they'd score a touchdown.

    Rule Of Tree
  • Jack Nicklaus Remembers Arnold Palmer: 'He Was One of My Best Friends'

    Perhaps no one in golf has ever come close to matching Arnold Palmer's influence on the modern game, with the possible exception of Jack Nicklaus, his rival and close confidante for many years. Nicklaus posted a heartfelt message to Twitter on Sunday night expressing his shock and sadness at the passing of his longtime friend. Maybe his body did, but I know Arnold's will and spirit did not." Nicklaus regretted that he hadn't had another chance to speak to his old friend, whom he called a legend, an icon, and a pioneer. Arnold always had my back, and I had his.

    Golf
  • Fined for crack block vs. Saints, Odell Beckham Jr. facing suspension if he's flagged again

    Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman battle last December (AP) It makes a little more sense now why New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said he would walk away if things got a little too intense between he and Washington cornerback Josh Norman on

    Shutdown Corner
  • Charlotte protesters march for sixth night despite shooting video release

    A couple hundred demonstrators chanted and marched through Charlotte on Sunday, as protests persisted after the release of two videos showing the fatal shooting of a black man by police officers in North Carolina's largest city. Angry protesters have filled the streets of Charlotte every day since the Tuesday killing of Keith Scott, 43, whom police said was armed when officers shot him. Crowds were smaller on Sunday than earlier in the week, but protesters said they would continue until police, who on Saturday released portions of videos showing Scott's death, published all the footage.

    Reuters
  • Brad Marchand coy about playing with Sidney Crosby on Penguins

    TORONTO – Brad Marchand might not be “Brad Marchand” anymore. There was a time his name carried an undeniable connotation. He was a pest. He was a injurious sneak. The President of the United States called him a “little ball of hate.” Not so much now,

    Puck Daddy
  • Tom Herman leads list of 10 candidates to replace Les Miles at LSU

    Les Miles was fired by LSU Tigers on Sunday evening, and as is the case in this industry, no matter what Miles accomplished in Baton Rouge, we must look ahead to determine his replacement at the same time we reflect on The Mad Hatter's time in the SEC West. In the immediate term, it's defensive line coach Ed Orgeron who will be stepping in. Orgeron has coaching experience in the SEC West, as he lasted three very unsuccessful seasons at Ole Miss, and interim coach experience from serving in the role at USC after Lane Kiffin was fired. While we can't rule out the possibility of Orgeron holding on to the job, the odds are very much stacked against him. This is LSU we're talking about. It's not firing

    CBS Sports
  • Hulk Hogan Leaves TNA

    39 years ago today in New York City's Madison Square Garden. Dusty Rhodes defeated WWWF Champion Superstar Billy Graham via countout. To say this bout was anticipated would be an understatement: the Garden sold out, so a few thousand had to watch at the Felt Forum via closed circuit television. 21 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, "The Gladiator" Mike Awesome defeated Hayabusa in a tournament final to win the FMW Brass Knuckles Championship. 17 years ago today, WWF presented Unforgiven (WWE Network link) from the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. 15,799 were in attendance, with about 330,000 homes watching on PPV; however, some estimates have the number as high as 408,000 buys.

    Cageside Seats
  • BMW Drivers Had a Really, Really Bad Day at the Nürburgring

    On Saturday, the Nürburgring hosted the ADAC Barbarossapreis race, the eighth event on the VLN Endurance Championship calendar. The Germs dominated on home turf, handily sweeping the Nordschleife podium. The No. 8 HARBIO Mercedes-AMG GT3 took the overall

    The Drive
  • Benches clear between Nationals, Pirates after Bryce Harper leaves game

    Bryce Harper left Sunday afternoon's game between his Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates with an apparent left hand injury. What led to Harper's hurt hand also led to the benches clearing at PNC Park.

    Amber Matsumoto
  • SportsFlash - Sports world remembers José Fernandez

    Yahoo Sports takes a look at sports' top stories including the passing of a baseball star and headlines from Sunday's NFL action.

    Yahoo Sports Videos
  • Phil Mickelson Criticizes PGA Tour's Setup of Tour Championship

    Phil Mickelson wasn't happy with the PGA Tour's course setup for the Tour Championship, and he let everyone know. After his final round, Mickelson was critical of the PGA Tour's setup ahead of this week's Ryder Cup because of the thickness of the rough. After a Sunday 66, Mickelson finished in 22nd place. The PGA of America runs the Ryder Cup when it's hosted in the United States, and the European tour runs the event when it's held in Europe.

    Golf
  • Dak Prescott: Cowboys teammates 'give me all the confidence in the world'

    Michele Tafoya speaks to the Cowboys' rookie tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott after leading the team to its first home win since the opener last season. Elliott says "we took one step forward" with the win.

    NBC Sports
  • Jim Caldwell approval poll: September 2016

    It has been a while since we’ve checked in with the public opinion of Jim Caldwell. In fact, it’s been eight months since we’ve last ran an approval poll for the Detroit Lions head coach. Back in January, as the Lions finished the 2015 season with a 6-2 run, 59 percent of Lions fans were happy with the job Caldwell has done with the team. Since then, a lot has happened. Caldwell is working under a new president, a new general manager, and has a slew of new players at his disposal. The Lions are off to a rocky 1-2 start, but Caldwell has yet to do anything personally egregious to hurt the Lions’ chances of winning through three weeks. Granted, this team hasn’t always looked as prepared as they

    Pride Of Detroit
  • Outpouring of Emotion After Ohio High School Football Player Succumbs to Injury

    Andre Jackson, a junior fullback and outside linebacker from Euclid High School, near Cleveland, was injured during a special teams play in Friday night's game, his coach said. "It was a pooch kick," Euclid coach Jeff Rotsky told WEWS. "There will never be a smile like Andre Jackson’s. No matter how much you asked him to do, he would do it for you.

    Good Morning America
  • Official: LSU fires head coach Les Miles, OC Cam Cameron

    The Les Miles era in Baton Rouge has come to an end. A day after LSU fell to 2-2 with an 18-13 loss at Auburn, the school announced that Miles has been fired as head coach. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has also been fired.

    Dr. Saturday
  • Marlins star Jose Fernandez dies in boating accident at 24

    Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez was one of three people who died in a boating accident in Miami Beach early Sunday morning. “The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez,” the team said in a statement. Sunday’s Marlins-Braves game at Marlins Stadium was canceled following the news, the team statement announced.

    Big League Stew
  • Three things we learned from Arsenal’s win vs. Chelsea

    LONDON — Arsenal shellacked Chelsea 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, with first half goals from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil doing the damage. Arsene Wenger had gone nine games without a win against Chelsea but in the same week he celebrates 20 years in charge at Arsenal, his side put in a dominant display to make it four wins on the spin in the Premier League. Here’s what we learned from the Emirates after an embarrassing encounter for Chelsea and a wonderful result for Arsenal. ARSENAL END HOODOO IN STYLE As bad as Chelsea’s defending was, this is what Arsenal can do to teams. The Gunners totally dominated Chelsea in the first half and it could’ve been more than 3-0 at

    ProSoccerTalk
  • Sadly, Crosby praise still comes at Ovechkin’s expense

    ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun presented an interesting column that spotlighted an admittedly “tired narrative” while still ultimately pumping up Crosby at Ovechkin’s expense. One executive did the baseball thing in making it Crosby (“five-tool guy”) vs. Ovechkin (“home run hitter”) while another equated it to a full-court player vs. a “half-court” player. Ovechkin may not have had the greatest game of his life on Saturday, but watching that game, was the takeaway really that he let Russia down?

    NBC Sports
  • Nerlens Noel calls Sixers crowded center situation “silly,” adds it “doesn’t make sense”

    At the center position, the Sixers have the athletic and defensive minded Nerlens Noel, the offensive-minded Jahlil Okafor, and the untested player who may be the best of the group in Joel Embiid. Nerlens Noel called the situation out as “silly” speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey.

    NBC Sports
  • Boxing: Tyson Fury 'will never fight again'

    Tyson Fury will never fight again - says leading British promoter Eddie Hearn. Fury, 28, has withdrawn from his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, scheduled for 29 October, with reported mental health issues. The Englishman, who has not fought since beating

    Yahoo Sport UK
  • Jack Nicklaus pens heartfelt goodbye to Arnold Palmer, 'the king of our sport'

    Jack Nicklaus hailed Arnold Palmer as a sporting "icon" and expressed shock at the death of the man credited for assuring golf into the modern era. Palmer, who along with Nicklaus and Gary Player were branded 'The Big Three' from the 1960s onward as they dominated golf, won seven majors in total — Nicklaus claimed 18 and Player nine. "I will miss him greatly," he wrote, in part. "Arnold transcended the game of golf.

    Sporting News
  • Cristiano Ronaldo Reportedly Insults Zinedine Zidane's Mother in Las Palmas Draw

    Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly insulted manager Zinedine Zidane after he was substituted against Las Palmas on Saturday evening. As reported by Sport, the 31-year-old was caught by cameras from Deportes Cuatro muttering to himself while on the bench after being withdrawn from the action. It’s alleged Ronaldo said “su puta madre” in the direction of the Zidane, which can mean “your f--king mother” or “f--k you” in Spanish. Ronaldo was withdrawn from the game in the 72nd minute with Madrid leading 2-1, although a late goal from Sergio Araujo salvaged a point for Las Palmas.

    Bleacher Report