The NFL is working to develop a game plan to draw games in the near future.
A source told ESPN that the league is working on a game-based system to provide fans a way to play football without leaving their seats.
That could lead to the idea of the NFL running its own game, as it did with its Madden series.
The source said the league was working on game-like systems for its own games and for other sports, but did not provide any specifics.
“The NFL has long believed in having a game to go with our events and to add value for fans,” the source said.
“It’s something that is very much a part of our business model.
There are no plans to do something completely new.”
The NFL is one of the few sports leagues that can run its own fan-driven game, but that strategy has always been fraught with risks.
The most recent incident highlighted how far the NFL has come.
In April, former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst Kirk Herbstreit was suspended for his role in a fake Twitter account that mocked former NFL coach Jim Harbaugh.
In August, former Chicago Bears offensive tackle Joe Thomas was suspended after he made a video to celebrate a win in his team’s season-opener, but he was reinstated for a fourth-quarter play and then a third-quarter touchdown.
And in December, the league suspended wide receiver Eric Decker for six games for deflating footballs.
The NFL declined to comment on the source’s account, which also noted that the game plan was still being developed.
But a source familiar with the league’s thinking said the idea was being considered.
“This is a big part of what the NFL does,” the NFL source said of the game-driven system.
“We’re working on it.
We’re working with ESPN to get it up and running.
It’s something we’ll have to do as soon as we can get this thing up and going.”
While the NFL is still working on the game, a source said it’s possible the league could develop a version of its own.
“I don’t know how long this thing is going to take, but if it does, the NFL could start a game in five years, which is a long time to wait,” the person said.