At the recently completed NFL owners meetings in Florida, there was plenty of talk about the possibility of the league expanding its International Series into different countries. The league has held games in London for the past several years, and the Patriots have been part of two of those games - in 2009 against Tampa Bay and again in 2012 against St. Louis.
Now the NFL is looking into the possibility of expanding its horizon even further with venues such as Mexico, Canada, Germany and China being broached as alternatives. The NFL has even considered moving the 2017 Pro Bowl to Brazil, further adding to the list of potential suitors.
Based on the discussions at the meetings the league certainly appears to be serious about its international endeavors. So with that in mind we figured we offer our two cents as to which countries make the most sense for regular-season games in the future.
That said, this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is: Which other country would you like to see the Patriots play a regular-season game?
PFW's Andy Hart says...
This one makes all the sense in the world, and even the Patriots agree. They already had one German-born player on the roster in Sebastian Vollmer, and now they added another in free agent defensive tackle Markus Kuhn. It's only natural that the Patriots head to Germany to play a regular-season game.
In addition to the players, Germany makes the most sense for other reasons as well. When NFL Europe was still in business, five of the six teams played there, showing that there is already a solid fundamental football base there that many other countries simply don't have. Because of that they already have the infrastructure in terms of stadium options there as well.
Having the games in London has worked but there's no need to have them all there. Spread them around a bit and let's start with Germany and give Vollmer and Kuhn a nice homecoming in the process.
PFW's Paul Perillo says...
OK, so I perused the list of potential venues for the league to hit and I did not see Australia make the cut. That doesn't matter to me because it would be the perfect place to expand the league's footprint.
First, there have been a handful of Australian players who have played in the league or at least attempted to. Between Australian rules football and rugby, there are probably a lot of potential players in that country who could adapt to the NFL game and added to the league's talent base.
Also, the NFL has been actively working in that country to help develop the amateur leagues that exist and improve the overall knowledge of the American game. Considering the level of athleticism that already exists there, it's an area that's worth tapping into.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.