While many other major U.S. sports are represented in some form during the Olympic Games, American NFL football does not have a presence in the preeminent global sporting event.
It’s understandable considering that this version of football is not prominently played in other countries.
The NFL continues to make its push to be more appealing to markets all over the globe, most notably by playing regular season games in England, Canada, and Mexico.
It’s possible this concerted effort will plant the seed necessary for the game to take off overseas, and perhaps one day, be included for Olympic consideration.
The Olympic games are a spectacle that is supposed to feature the most elite athletes the planet has to offer.
Unfortunately, while this premise is noble, the games do not include NFL players, who have a compelling case to be the best athletes on Earth.
In an exercise that will certainly expand the mind and stimulate the imagination, we’ll take a look at three NFL players who could be Olympians if they so chose.
3. Kyler Murray (Baseball)
As Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray heads into his third year in the NFL, fans are mostly wondering whether the former University of Oklahoma signal-caller can get his team to the playoffs.
As electrifying as his play can be on the gridiron as he maneuvers in and out of the pocket, Murray was also a budding superstar on the baseball diamond as well.
He was such a special baseball talent that the Oakland Athletics selected him with the ninth pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Murray hit .296 in his final season for the Sooners’ baseball team, and knocked in an astonishing 47 RBI in 51 games played that campaign.
Team USA could always use an outfielder with the pedigree of a top 10 MLB draft pick, and someone who can deliver with men on base.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) June 10, 2021
2. Tyreek Hill (Track and Field)
With all due respect to the sprinters competing in Tokyo, it seems unlikely that they would be considerably faster than the blazing velocity Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill brings to the table.
The answer to whether cornerbacks and safeties are playing deep enough against Hill is almost always “no.”
While Hill was not present for the NFL Draft combine in 2016, he did put on a show at his Pro Day.
The warp-speed playmaker covered the standard 40-yard distance in an other-worldly 4.29 seconds.
He’s put his track skills on display on numerous occasions in the NFL thus far, putting defenders in precarious positions.
Hill could certainly be a force for the United States in the Olympics if he put his mind to it.
Tyreek Hill in 2012 running HS track…
— Overtime (@overtime) May 19, 2021
1. C.J Gardner-Johnson (Boxing)
This is a bit of an unorthodox selection.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson is not what you would call a household NFL name.
He has played the first two seasons of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints as a safety.
Gardner-Johnson is an improving player; he was in on 66 tackles a year ago, and recorded 13 passes defended.
At this point of his NFL journey however, he has the dubious distinction of being known as a guy who likes to mix it up a little bit.
In October, he was the unfortunate target of a haymaker attempt from fellow teammate Michael Thomas.
Apparently the two had been going at it pretty hard in practice, and Thomas had more than enough.
In early November, Gardner-Johnson was involved in another sparring event, this time with Chicago Bears wide receiver Javon Wims.
Whatever Gardner-Johnson says on the field tends to get the opposition hot, and he must know that he won’t always get away with trash talking without some sort of physical altercation.
Since Gardner-Johnson seems to welcome the contact, we’ll slot him in as a potential Olympic boxer, reveling in the confrontations.