Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Schaub believe London deserves NFL franchise

The "TOPS" crew to discuss whether it is a good or bad idea to have an earlier start time for NFL games in London.

This season, six teams will travel across the Atlantic Ocean to play regular-season games in London. It'll be tough on them, but great for us, as we'll get to watch at least some NFL bright-and-early on Sunday morning. Is this a cute little blip in NFL history, or harbinger of a new chapter in the league's future?

It's no secret that the NFL is considering the viability of a franchise in England, with sheer logistics being the greatest obstacle. One of the primary questions involves the toll that transatlantic travel would take on the players' bodies. But as to whether the city of London actually deserves a franchise? For at least two players, that's not an issue at all.

"You know what? I think they deserve one," said Oakland's Maurice Jones-Drew, who played in London last year as part of the Jaguars. "It's just the toll it takes on the body because it's so hard to fly across the pond. I think the fans deserve it and London deserves it because it is a great city."

Oakland QB Matt Schaub agreed with the idea of a team in London. "Absolutely," he said, and no, he did not throw another pick-six while speaking. "I think that is definitely in the future."

Add their voices to Falcons owner Arthur Blank, whose team will also play in London and who has publicly supported the idea of a team in Europe. Maybe it won't happen in the next few years, but the NFL is going to take over Europe soon enough. You're on notice, soccer.

Jay Busbee is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

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