NFL encouraging players to play in 2028 Olympics Flag Football competition

By Michael Voitek

The NFL announced recently that they are encouraging their players to participate in the Olympics now that flag football has become an official sport in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The first personal reaction to this was no, absolutely no. You want Bijan Robinson in his prime absolutely trucking over a French kid who’s reaching for his flag? You want Patrick Mahomes airmailing a ball from his own 20 for a perfect touchdown to Justin Jefferson? This can’t happen, can it? Well, it is, and you have to wonder who the other nations will trot out there to face off against an absolutely savage USA squad. Let’s go through a few nations that may stand more of a chance than you think.


Nathan Rourke

Canada would seem to be the biggest opposition to the USA dominance. They play football up north and have some potential stars amongst them. Quarterback is the position where most of these teams will fail but if I had to pick someone, I’d go with Nathan Rourke, third string with the Jacksonville Jaguars who played his college at Ohio University and broke passing records with the BC Lions of the CFL in 2022. He made some highlight reel plays during the preseason with the Jaguars. Next would be Christian Veilleux. He’s a backup at Penn St. behind Drew Allar but he was a 4-star recruit and can throw the ball well. After that Canada has some good position players like: Chase Claypool (Dolphins), Josh Palmer (Chargers), and Chuba Hubbard. Benjamin St Juste and Jevon Holland should anchor the back line of this team that can surprise the US if they all play.


Romeo Okwara

This is a country that I’m sure not many are on the lookout for, but they certainly have some stars that could help in a flag football contest. They’ve never had a real quarterback from Nigeria so someone fast and quick will have to do. On offense, they’ll have to utilize Nelson Agholor (hopefully he doesn’t drop balls like he did for the Eagles) and David Njoku a lot. Defense is where this group will shine. Romeo Okwara, Emmanuel Ogbah, Ben Banogu, Joseph Ossai, to list a few. These guys have size and speed and can be a menacing opponent to face in the flag football competition.

American Samoa

Detroit Lions OL Penei Sewell catching pass Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

This team will be led by the Sewell brothers. Penei, Nephi, and Noah all play in the NFL and will be an opposing front to go up against if they decide to play in the Olympic games. American Samoa also has a three-star athlete, Oakie Salave’a, who is committed to playing with prime time at Colorado next season. He could be the key for this team’s engine.


Jordan Mailata Photo; AAP

Australia will basically win every field position battle in the Olympics. They have such a wealth of punters it’s ridiculous: Michael Dickson (Seahawks), Cameron Johnston (Texans), Arryn Siposs (Eagles), Mitch Wishnowsky (49ers) and more. Aside from their wonderful punting game this team would also feature huge offensive lineman like Jordan Mailata (Eagles) and Daniel Faalele (Ravens). I’ve seen Jordan play rugby in highlight clips and he could be a problem with some open space.

These aren’t the only players who will play for these teams either. There are plenty of international players playing overseas in the European League of Football, Canadian Football League, and in the X League in Japan, but I wanted to focus on NFL talent since it is the best league in the world without a doubt. Listen, flag football is a different game completely, but no matter what you’re looking for: size, speed, agility, throwing, the USA has it. It is going to be tough for any of these countries to compete if we allow NFL players to play, but I’ll be watching, nonetheless.

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