What If...the NFL borrowed some concepts from foreign sports leagues?

Something random that I thought could be a fun discussion for a quiet news day.

There's a couple of wrinkles in other sports, that are interesting to think about if they were applied to the NFL. Not necessarily saying I advocate either, but I am curious what fellow Chargers fans think.

1. "The Father-Son Rule" - used in the AFL (Australian Football League).

I got thinking about this after reading an article about Antonio Gates Jr being a dominant high school WR. (And subsequently wondered how Gunner Rivers, or Phil's other son, will eventually progress).

The father-son rule basically makes it easier for a young guy to be drafted by the team his dad starred for. There are some qualifying parameters (such as father must have played 100+ games for that team).
In a nutshell here's how it works: A franchise can 'match a bid' when the son of a legend is being selected, and forfeit an appropriate amount of picks (per a trade compensation chart or similar).

To use an example if applied to this years draft:
  • Denver selected Patrick Surtain II with pick #9.
  • Surtain Snr is a Dolphins legend, so Miami have the option to match that bid.
  • Miami choose to match it, and give up their next two picks (#18 & #36), moving up to pick #9 to select Surtain II.
  • Denver is back on the clock at pick #10, with the rest of the draft order shifting down.
I realise if the example above was reality, the Chargers could well have missed out on Rashawn Slater. With the possible flow-on of missing Asante Samuel Jr too. So it might not sound like a great rule to Bolts fans!
But for what it's worth, the majority of AFL fans approve the father-son rule in that league.

2. Loaning players - used in European soccer leagues.

This one would be quite complex in the NFL. The legalities that would arise if a player is injured, likely rule it out of ever being implemented.
But the idea behind it - a franchise can lend one of its contracted players to another franchise for a season, collecting compensation in return (a different player, draft picks, money...)

It wouldn't be very common, but here's a current scenario where all parties may see benefit. Put aside all distain for the Patriots, for the purpose of this example.

  • New England don't want N'Keal Harry, nor does he want to be there. His current trade value is likely very low (6th or 7th rounder?) A 12 month loan could boost Harry's value - which could benefit him, NE, and even the borrowing team.
  • Let's say Green Bay offer to take him on loan for 12 months, paying his full salary in that time. If Harry performs, NE have a more valuable trade asset.
  • Maybe a loan clause is agreed, where if N'Keal gets X TD's & XXX yards, the loan automatically becomes a permanent & GB give NE a specific 2022 draft pick?

I didn't become a Chargers fan until a few years after Philip Rivers was drafted. So I don't know what the dynamic of the team was like then. I also doubt a team would ever loan a QB.
But...could Rivers have started his rookie season, and Brees gone out on loan? If they both perform, Brees becomes a trade asset while still contracted for 1 more season.


Let me know if either suggestion intrigues you, whether you think both are terrible ideas, and of course your reasoning behind it.
Bolt up!

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