NFL Opens 2021 Training Camps With Few Problems

2021 will be almost like a normal year despite COVID-19 still lurking about.

The National Football League’s countdown to kickoff is underway with training camps opening. Commissioner Roger Goodell has delivered two massive answers to the ownership group. Yes, we have a huge new TV deal coming and yes, we have a players collective bargaining deal. It should be smooth sailing for the league for the foreseeable future but there may be a problem with some of the NFL’s fan base. The league will allow players to display their political thoughts and that might rub some people the wrong way. The league started experiencing backlash and criticism in 2016 when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner in a protest he said was against police brutality. Kaepernick last played in the league in 2016.

Goodell has some franchise problems. Buffalo Bills ownership may be seeking a new stadium or may renovate its present stadium in Orchard Park. There seems to be some squabbling between the Jacksonville Jaguars’ ownership and the city about the present stadium and Jaguars ownership to develop land near the stadium. Jaguars’ ownership may be looking to build a new stadium. The NFL plans to plan games in London, England this fall if it can. COVID-19 remains a problem. NFL owners will be able to fill stadiums this fall and winter, at least that is the present plan. The NFL is looking for partners who have pockets filled with money in Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, Germany. The NFL wants to stage a contest in Germany. Why Germany? The weekly NFL television viewership in the country has grown by more than 20 percent annually since 2017. The NFL claims millions of fans tuned in for last February’s Super Bowl, making it the third consecutive season of record German Super Bowl watching. For the NFL, all is good right now.

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NFL football commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a press conference ahead of Super Bowl 55, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (Perry Knotts/NFL via AP)