We all hate these late season games that mean absolutely nothing to our team. The Patriots had nothing to play for yesterday but seeding (and really, what's the difference between #3 and #4? Not much). And yet Welker is now done. The Colts had absolutely no reason to play for the past three weeks, and they showed it by sitting the starters, and giving the last two games away. I know Roger Goodell is trying to get the competition committee to tweak the rules so that there is some incentive for teams like the Colts (who lock up a playoff berth early). One thing mentioned was "draft picks." Doesn't that go against parity? Because if a team locked up a playoff berth early, do they really need MORE draft picks than the teams that are fighting for the post-season in week 17?
Here's my thought:
What if each team with a confirmed playoff berth had the option to "rest their starters" by forfeiting the entire game to their opponent? All the players and coaches on the forfeiting team would give up that portion of their annual contracted salary (or whatever) to the "home team" of that game. The "home team" would lose some money on concessions, but they would save money on salaries both of the workers at the game and personnel on the field. The "home team" would then use that money to refund the face value of every ticket that had been sold to that game.
This way no fan has to sit through a meaningless game like yesterday's Snow Bowl in Buffalo. No player has to worry about getting an injury in a meaningless game and missing the playoffs (as we have seen several do just yesterday). Coaches can concentrate on getting ready for the playoffs without wasting any brainpower in developing a half-hearted "gameplan" against the 2-13 team they are supposed to play in Week 17 (I'm looking at you, Detroit!).
So. Whaddya think?