NFL reportedly would consider a wider playing field

  • By Kevin Patra
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The NFL isn't only signing players and coaches from the Canadian Football League, it might actually be considering mimicking its field.

In a continuous effort to create a safer game, the NFL could look into widening the field, similar to the CFL dimension. Former competition committee member Bill Polian told the National Football Post's Dan Pompei the league contemplated the move years ago and might do so again.

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"It's a radical idea, but I think it's worth thinking about," Polian said. "You would have more space and perhaps a safer game. I say that based on my CFL experience. There are less collisions of that type in the Canadian game."

The Canadian field is 35 feet wider than the NFL's 160 feet.

Widening the field would drastically change the game in favor of the offense, where more space would make it even more difficult for secondary players -- cue Fantasy Football fans salivating.

Some believe the NFL has gotten too big, fast and strong for its field and spreading out the game could reduce the amount of high-speed collisions.

Not everyone is convinced, however. Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith told Pompei he believes if a player has more space to run, the collisions over the course of a game will be more significant.

The big, debilitating hits the league is trying to jettison, however, usually come from 5- to 10-yard bursts, with the defender lunging at an offensive player, not a 20-yard run-and-hit.

Field expansion might be a tad extreme, but in the age of concussion awareness, there is nothing the NFL wouldn't and shouldn't at least consider to make the game safer.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.