The best football is played in the NFL, and with that comes certain expectations. The players need to be the most skilled. The games should be the best. The coaching should be the most refined.
When these goals aren't met, it usually means it's time for relegation, a model perfected in other leagues.
In baseball, underachieving players get demoted from the majors to a lower rung of play. In European soccer, teams at the bottom of the standings get dropped to a lower league.
In this sense, there are a few teams and players that could use a proper relegation in order to rebuild and improve.
Here are seven players and teams that could use a relegation…
The Cleveland Browns have shown some signs of life this year, but overall they have a tremendous amount of work to climb back to respectability.
Their talent levels are low, their drafting success has been very mixed, and the organization seems to lack direction.
With that said, I'm most disappointed in the team's handling of a potential concussion for quarterback Colt McCoy last Thursday. Following a big hit from the Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison (resulting in a one-game suspension) which gave McCoy a concussion, McCoy was sent back on the field seemingly moments later.
Even more disappointing, it appears the team and its medical staff did not properly evaluate McCoy up to league standards. Sending him back in so soon after taking a concussion blow, the team put their quarterback's and team's long-term success in major jeopardy.
If the Browns are going to result to bush league tactics to try and win games (at the expense of their own players' health), then they should be in a bush league.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has an immense amount of talent, but time and time again has shown himself to have the mental fortitude of a small child.
Things like careless penalties, taunting opponents and dropping the ball before the end zone stand as the kind of slip-ups that come about from a disrespect for the fundamentals for the game.
With that in mind, I suggest a relegation of Jackson for a season to a local Pop Warner football league. The league is semi-competitive, rewards solid fundamentals and may teach him a thing or two about playing for the love of the game (and not for a big contract extension, which has become a major punchline this season).
Before I start, I should say this is for the Jacksonville Jaguars team minus running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew was terrific last week, with four goal-line touchdowns.
The Jaguars have struggled when it comes to this whole contact thing. The team leads the league with a whopping 27 players on injured reserve. With this in mind, they may want to consider a less aggressive approach.
How about a community flag football league? With the injuries mostly taken out of the equation, the team could play up to the most of its potential.
Then again, given the talent level of this year's squad, maybe that's not the only thing holding the team back from winning.
Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter have set a benchmark for lousy quarterbacking, as they have led the team to a 0-13 record so far this season.
The team's offense has struggled majorly without its leader Peyton Manning, and Orlovsky and Painter have defined themselves with an unusual number of turnovers and inaccurate passing.
That's the kind of poor play that should have them out of work in the NFL very soon.
It may even be worse than that. If I'm a general manager, I'd be looking at the two and asking myself, "Am I going to put my job security on these either of these guys?" Asking this question, there may not be a league in America that would want to take them.
By the time the Colts (most likely) go winless, the only place they'll be able to escape the shame of their play this season could be India. The Elite Football League of India is a brand new league starting up in 2012, with an idea of spreading around American Football in a new country.
While the potential pros of a move would be immense (fresh start, new culture), the cons are potentially terrifying.
Can you imagine being booed by a possible 1.2 billion people?
With the exception of super-duper seniors Ronde Barber, Jeff Faine and Donald Penn, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the youngest rosters around.
In this sense, it might be the best option for the Bucs to take their talents to the NCAA level. Ignoring the ages of their players, many on the roster have the maturity level of guys rolling into a college campus for the very first time.
The only question that remains is how many violations and suspensions guys like Aqib Talib and LeGarrette Blount would rack up over the course of a season.
Acting is a physical art, but Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson may have taken this a little bit too far against the Cleveland Browns in Week 12.
Near a pile for a fumbled ball, Simpson took it upon himself to draw some contact from the Browns' Scott Fujita. With Fujita responding to Simpson's earlier pulling, Simpson threw himself in the air to show the brutal hit he had taken from his ruthless opponent.
While the referee did award a penalty in the Bengals' favor after the spill, it's clear if Simpson wants to keep pulling slapstick gags like this one, he'll need plenty of acting training.
Time for Simpson to go back to Acting 101.