In the ongoing debate about whether a team in London is a viable option for the NFL, there's been very little player input up to this point. Now, Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis has given Mike Freeman of CBS Sports his take on the Jaguars playing more than one game in London, and if he's right, the prospect of eventually putting a team in London don't look good.
Lewis told Freeman playing multiple games across the pond "would be highly stressful for a team. It would disrupt a big part of your season. There would be a competitive disadvantage for a team that did that. . . . [P]laying two games in London would be pretty rough for any team no matter what you try to do."
If Lewis is correct in saying that multiple games across the Atlantic is disruptive, imagine how tough it would be for a team that plays eight games in the continental U.S. and eight in London. Sure, there would be a small edge in playing at home, but the difficulty of constantly traveling back and forth across an ocean would be extremely tough, especially in years such a team would be scheduled to play one of the western divisions.
As far as the level of disruption the Jaguars would face by playing two games in London, I'm not sure I see that quite as much. Yes, it makes for some rough weeks, especially when talking about the weeks immediately following the trips to London, but it's not unmanageable.
The bigger problem, from the league's perspective, is that the inability to put a team in Europe means that the NFL will have a very difficult time growing outside of the United States. Yes, there's room for growth in Canada and Mexico, but the big potential is in Europe, but it looks like the league doesn't have a way to spread that far.
Look for the NFL to be very creative in the coming years about how they want to pursue growth in Europe. There's a lot of possibility over there, but the NFL needs a presence there before we can realistically expect a spike in American football overseas.
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