Revolutionizing the NFL: When Will We See Something New?

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2008

This isn't an article, this is a question—and I expect an answer, a theory, or an opinion at the very least.

I know my answer, and I'll share it with you before I even pose the question: The players in the system are going to want to be paid like superstars, regardless of whether they are or not.


The Question

What makes college football great is the unbelievable athleticism of a select group of players.  Superstar athlete quarterbacks like Tim Tebow and Pat White make everyone else on the field look foolish.

Then the NFL Draft rolls around, and they're drafted as wide receivers or kick returners, or in Tebow's case, possibly an H-back.

So why do NFL teams continue to run the pro-style offense that takes these extreme talents and turns them into receivers? 

Pundits have said the spread can't work in the professional ranks, but teams run it in a modified form.  The Wild-Hog formation has been run by plenty of teams this year—and it's been working.

The NFL Salary structure is ridiculous, and you can often get these amazing athletes at budget prices in the later rounds because you're moving them to positions to which they're not suited.


Why Not Have Five or Six Guys on the Field That Can Do It All?

Instead of your typical QB, FB, RB, WR, WR, or TE why not trot out six athletes that you can get in the middle rounds of the draft?

The positions listed above are the most expensive to fill on your entire roster, and can often handicap a team for years if they make a bad decision (JaMarcus Russell, Charles Rogers, and Ryan Leaf for example).

I'll use extreme examples here, but can you imagine the possible options if you trotted out a team that consisted of Michael Vick, Tim Tebow, Drew Bennett, Hines Ward, Matt Jones, and Antwan Randel-El?

The possibilities are just ridiculous, and odds are you'll only have to spend a second round pick on these guys. Of course, you're team won't look like the one above, but the possibilities with a Patrick Crayton and Isaiah Stanback are just as exciting.

The best part about a system like this is that you don't have to give these guys ridiculous first round draft contracts, which allows you to spend every cent on offensive lines and defense.  Most teams battle with staying under the cap because their QB, RB, and WR take up so much cap room.

So many teams have shown that you can have an awful offense and still get to the Super Bowl—and win it—behind a tremendous defense.

Yes, you're going to experience a boat-load of injuries to your star players, but since these tremendous college athletes are so under-valued because they don't have a position, you're going to have 15 guys that can all play RB, WR, TE, or QB.

Your offense is going to have to be simple so that all 15 guys can pick up each of the four positions, but the majority of your offense is going to rely on athleticism and route running over complex plays.

What you're going to have to avoid doing is drafting the Darren McFaddens and Michael Vicks of the world because they're actually over-valued as athletes.

Money Ball was about finding market inefficiencies in baseball and exploiting them.  Why can't the same thing be done in football?

Obviously, athletes that do not possess one individual skill-set to play a position in the NFL are an inefficiency.

You don't have to pay them ridiculous guaranteed money. You don't have to give them long-term contracts. You can trade them once they succeed.

You'll be the most hated GM in the league but...

Instead of adapting superstar college athletes to the NFL, why not adapt the NFL to these athletes?


As always: my blog.