BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL has put in a lot of effort to expand the games in international markets such as England and Mexico. Next up on their list looks like it will be Germany.

Peter King asked NFL chief strategy officer Chris Halpin to forecast what the NFL schedule will look like five years from now. Halpin said that he foresees four games in London, one game in Mexico, and one game in Germany.

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Such an event could happen as early as 2022.

“The fast-riser in international circles: Germany. The NFL is bullish on playing one game a season, starting either in 2022 or 2023, in Germany,” King wrote. “This year, the NFL had 2.2 million people in Germany watching as an average-minute audience (that’s the way Nielsen rates NFL games here) at least part of the Super Bowl — and the game was on there in the early hours of Monday. Plus, subscriptions to the NFL’s big pay-TV model, NFL GamePass, were up 30 percent worldwide last year. That is a huge revenue stream.”

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Germany was also the nation that most embraced the long-defunct NFL Europe.

The popularity of football in Germany is well known to the Patriots. In 2009, the team drafted offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer. He was a part of the team for eight years, winning a Super Bowl in 2014. He played in 98 games for the Patriots. According to Pro Football Reference, that’s the 22nd-most NFL games played by a German-born player. Vollmer is tied for having the third-highest “Approximate Value” of all German-born NFL players. Vollmer, 36, now works as a German-language broadcaster of NFL games.

Currently, the Patriots have fullback Jakob Johnson on the roster. Born in Germany, Johnson moved to the U.S. in high school, and he entered the NFL on the league’s International Player Pathway Program. He made his NFL debut in 2019, when he played in four games, and he played in all 16 Patriots games last year, scoring his first career touchdown in Week 2 in Seattle. Last week, the team released fullback Danny Vitale, likely indicating that Johnson is in line to retain his spot as the team’s fullback.

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According to King, the NFL would play games in Allianz Stadium in Munich, which holds more than 70,000 fans.

CBSBoston.com Staff