While the NFL hasn’t seen expansion or a team relocate in quite some time, the possibility — especially internationally — is always looming. For years, the league has discussed the idea of having a team outside of the United States; whether it would work logistically and interest-wise was always the two main talking points.
While there doesn’t seem to be anything concrete coming down the pipeline, NFL Executive VP Peter O’Reilly went on ESPN’s “The Adam Schefter Podcast” and would not rule out the possibility of it happening in the future.
An International NFL Team Coming Soon?
The NFL is set to have three straight weeks of international games kick off this Sunday, starting with the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars playing at Wembley Stadium in London. With the latest edition of the International Series set to begin, Schefter asked O’Reilly what are the chances of the NFL adding a team overseas. The answer was intriguing.
Before the the first of three straight Sunday games in London, NFL Executive VP Peter O'Reilly addressed when we might see a full-time overseas NFL team.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 27, 2023
O’Reilly told Schefter that they wouldn’t rule out an overseas NFL team in the future because of the increased interest in overseas fan base support: “You could sell out those games.” However, O’Reilly would add that “There’s nothing imminent there” at this time.
While it doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for the move right now, the door is certainly not shut, and it can start a real conversation about how the NFL would handle the situation. Would a current team relocate, or would they add a 33rd team to the mix is one of the main questions.
Could the Jacksonville Jaguars Relocate?
Any time these conversations get going, NFL fans begin to wonder just who would be on the move. Throughout the years, the team that has felt like it made the most sense has always been the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For the past 10 years, the Jaguars have made regular appearances in the NFL London games. In addition to their frequent trips, team owner Shahid Khan purchased Fulham from the Premier League, and as a result, it has always seemed like the logical choice if an NFL franchise were to try and build a fanbase overseas.
The Jaguars have played in London nine times with their clash, with the Falcons this weekend being their 10th. While nothing is set in stone, and we are years away from seeing anything happen, the Jaguars make too much sense for the league if they want to go this route.