Bernard Pollard: 'NFL Will Cease to Exist in 20-30 Years'

James ReaganCorrespondent IIMay 7, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 24:   Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is tackled by  Bernard Pollard #31 of the Baltimore Ravens during the game at EverBank Field on October 24, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Although the NFL has been the U.S.'s most popular sport since the 1950s, the end is near. In fact, if you believe Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard, the end is very near. 

Pollard recently spoke on SportsRadio 610 in Houston where he didn't hold back his opinion on lots of topics. Most of these being controversial ones such as the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal where he seemed to advocate paying players to injure opponents.

"Who cares if he did say he was going to give somebody $10,000? Who cares? It's out of his pocket. He didn't take it from the team's money. He didn't take it from somebody else's money. It was his pocket."

Pollard obviously believes that football should be played with extreme aggression. As a ball-hawking safety, he almost goes out of his way to inflict pain on opposing players. This is, after all, the player whose hit on Tom Brady sparked a new rule regarding quarterback safety. 

While Pollard's views on the Saints are not surprising to anyone who knows him, his views on the NFL's future are very much surprising. He thinks that the violent nature of football cannot be tempered by continual rule changes.

"I just truly believe, another 20, 30 years -- I don't even think football will even be in existence anymore. We all know what this game is about. We know and understand that it's a violent sport."

Similar to James Harrison, Pollard also has no love for Roger Goodell. He raised the point that Goodell has been hypocritical by attempting to inject safety measures on one hand while campaigning for an 18-game season on the other hand.

Pollard also believes that the NFL draft is akin to "a meat market" where teams look for only the strongest and most frightening players available. 

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 13:  Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against Bernard Pollard #31 of the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field on November 13, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Ravens 22-17. (Photo by
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

But despite the grave changes threatening to take away the game he loves, Pollard vows that he will not change the way he plays. 

"If you're going to try to make a tackle, I'm going to look for you. I promise you, I'm going to look for you."

Scary words coming from a player that has a reputation for being a Patriots killer. In addition to the season-ending Brady injury, Pollard prevented Wes Welker from playing in the 2009 postseason and he also injured Rob Gronkowski this past postseason.

But Patriot killer aside, Pollard raises some interesting points. The hypocrisy between the push for more games and the increasing of safety rules is one that has been noted by many people. If more safety rules formulate, the NFL could literally slow down its speed and become more like a glorified flag football game.

While that would possibly cause less serious injuries, it does take away the heart of the game. Football is a violent sport, which is something the players are aware of from the first moment they put on their pads.

It's no secret that there are a lot of football players out there like Pollard, who contribute to making the sport a violent one.

It's impossible to know if these rules will actually cause the NFL to cease to exist. But one thing's for sure, Pollard and players like him will continue to play aggressively. It's the commissioner's call as to what to do about that.