If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's focus on expanding the league internationally eventually results in a team based out of London, Cincinnati Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth wouldn't be on board.
In fact, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner Jr., Whitworth would flat out quit the NFL.
“I would hope that I was financially able to quit,” Whitworth said. “That’s what I would hope because if I was my papers would be the first one in.”
It doesn't stop there, either. Whitworth, who is the Bengals' representative for the NFL Players Association and has a good feel for the rest league, believes he is in the majority, per Dehner Jr.:
“I don’t see that a lot of guys would want to do that,” he said. “I don’t see any players that would enjoy that. Sure, you may find a handful of guys that say, ‘Oh hey, that’d be cool,’ but the rest of them wouldn’t.”
Goodell's intention on expanding the NFL is abundantly clear. Games have been played overseas since 2007, and because of the overwhelming success, the commissioner, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, has intentions of putting a team there permanently.
While that's a novel idea, Whitworth's concern is legitimate.
Just think of the travel.
Is adding a team in London a good idea?
A London-based team would still presumably play eight road games per season, meaning that for (at least) four months it would have to travel back and forth, potentially wreaking havoc on a team's performance and execution.
Not only that, but players would either have to completely uproot their families or be disconnected for a large majority of the season.
Of course, to people like Goodell, the NFL is a business, and there is little question that international expansion would increase the inflow of money in a significant fashion.
However, if it comes at the expense of players or puts them in a negative situation, it doesn't seem worth it, at least in Whitworth's eyes.
And according to Whitworth, it could even result in a fallout.