Bernard Pollard believes the end is near for the NFL.
The hard-hitting Baltimore Ravens safety has watched professional football evolve with bigger, faster players and vows the violent nature of the sport cannot be tempered by continual rule changes. He believes the equation doesn't work.
"I just truly believe, another 20, 30 years -- I don't even think football will even be in existence anymore," Pollard told KILT-AM in Houston, via CBSSports.com. "... We all know what this game is about. We know and understand that it's a violent sport."
Pollard is persona non grata in New England after wiping out quarterback Tom Brady's knee in 2008, hovering close when Wes Welker tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the 2009 regular-season finale and injuring tight end Rob Gronkowski in January's AFC Championship Game.
Pollard is unapologetic about the way he plays, and he's not alone.
"If somebody is going to get a knockout shot, OK, at some point somebody is going to get hit anyway," Pollard said. "If you end up getting knocked out because you're trying to get a knockout shot, it's either kill or be killed. Which one are you going to do? This is football. It's not powder puff.
"When Nike unveiled their new uniforms, I'm surprised they didn't have flags on the side. ... You're taking away the game of football. If a quarterback throws an interception, get his butt down or run to the sidelines. If you're going to try to make a tackle, I'm going to look for you. I promise you, I'm going to look for you."
Pollard suggested NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been hypocritical in his crusade to inject safety measures into an inherently dangerous sport. Pollard called last week's draft "a meat market," where teams openly seek out the strongest, fastest, most aggressive players available. Nobody is looking for safer, think-before-you-tackle defenders.
Pollard doesn't believe anybody attached to the game is about to turn down the piles of money flowing into their coffers.
"When it's all said and done, (Goodell) and (NFL Players Association executive director) DeMaurice Smith said they would take a dollar (in salary) if we were locked out," Pollard said. "We were locked out. I guarantee they didn't take a dollar. Ask them what their salaries were. Everybody wants to talk about these players lying to Roger Goodell. What about them lying to us? What about them lying to you?"
Strong words, as always, from Pollard, who admitted he doesn't want his son to play the game he plays, only to endure the fierce trail of physical ailments that come with it: "I don't want him to have go through it. I don't want to see my son with a concussion."