Minor League Football System Not Far Away

With more and more players being left in free agency and undrafted, a developmental league could be coming to the football world as early as 2017.

Jake Matise, Columnist

As football continues to grow more and more popular, so does the demand for the sport during the National Football League’s (NFL) offseason. A developmental league associated with the NFL that plays during the NFL offseason could be extremely beneficial as efforts continue to be made to increase the popularity of the sport.

The league, named Major League Football (MLFB), was intended to begin its inaugural season this year, but the start has been pushed back to 2017. The delay is due to an investor dropping out and not paying the $30 million in investments that the MLFB was counting on. However, the league has declared 2016 to be a developmental season, and that efforts will be made to make sure the organization is ready to go next year.

I believe this is an interesting project, and will definitely help the sport if it goes through. Nearly every other major sport has some sort of minor league system, except for football. Instead, college statistics are the only numbers NFL teams really get to look at when deciding what young player they would like to give a shot. A developmental system would give younger players a better chance to work their way up and prove themselves. After all, it’s a physical game, and careers are relatively short compared to other sports. No athlete wants to spend key seasons sitting on the bench or in free agency.

As for 2016 being a developmental season, MLFB has taken several important steps and is still working to ensure that the project won’t be delayed another year. A 40-round draft for the 8 MLFB teams was held, although team locations have not yet been disclosed. New investors are still being added to the league, as the founders need to come up with $30 million to get everything up and running.

However, there are concerns that MLFB could end up being an embarrassing flop. No one can predict if the games will sell tickets, let alone be watched on TV. Some fans can be opposed to watching what they feel is a worse version of the NFL. Regardless of what some think, the NFL desperately needs some sort of instructional league, and MLFB can definitely fill that need.