Does the NFL need a new expansion team? In short, my answer is YES.
During this long quarantine with little-to-no sports, I was thinking about content that I could write about. I thought of a project that started a couple of years ago when the Las Vegas Golden Knights were being added to the NHL. What would happen if the NFL had an expansion team? That is what I want to explore in a new series of articles.
Does The NFL Need A New Expansion Team?
How does this work?
The NFL hasn’t had an expansion draft since 2002 when the Houston Texans joined the league. Each team left five players unprotected, and was allowed to pull one of those back if another was taken. The Texans had to pick either 30 players or $27.2 million in contracts, which was 38% of the salary cap at the time. There were restrictions on what players were allowed to be protected and who wasn’t.
In this draft, it’ll work a little bit differently. First of all, the salary cap doesn’t apply in the same capacity as it did then. This means that if a team wants to leave a player with a high contract unprotected, they can, and would lose all aspects of that contract. If the expansion team drafts over the salary cap, then they would be unable to spend money in free agency until they have sufficient cap room.
Since this is still preseason, each team can protect all except 10 players. These players can’t be in their first or second years of experience. When a player gets picked, the team can pull another player back. For players that are free agents, the expansion team can only pick up to five during the draft. The only free agents that can be protected are those that are under any sort of protection or tag by a team. Any other free agent can be signed by the expansion team starting two weeks after the draft.
Who would run this team?
In next week’s article, I’m going to reveal the main front office and coaching staff of this team. There are plenty of restrictions. The coaches cannot be on any current NFL coaching staffs, nor any Division I NCAA teams. The head coach of any NCAA team is also prohibited. No current NFL member of a front office can switch to this team.
What is the name of this new team?
I am proud and humbled to reveal the name as the Omaha Fortune. They are the first NFL team to not end with an “s”. The reason I chose Omaha was that the western half of the United States, despite being much bigger in landmass doesn’t have nearly as many teams (22 vs 10). Omaha is a hub of the Midwest, located right in the middle of the country, as well as being the largest city in Nebraska. They are named the Fortune due to a large amount of Fortune 500 and 1000 companies headquartered in Omaha. This includes Berkshire Hathaway and TD Ameritrade.
Next week will be the choosing of the front office and coaching staff as well as the name of their stadium.
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