Harry Kane, a star for the English soccer team Tottenham Hotspur, says he’d like to give kicking an American football a try some day.
“It depends on how my football career goes but, when I am finished, I would love to go the NFL and be a kicker. Even if I got to play just one game it is something I would like to do. It’s a long way off yet. But it is definitely something I have thought about,” Kane told The Sun.
Kane says he has kicked a football with NFL kickers and has as strong a leg as they do, although he admits he would need to work on his consistency with an oblong ball.
“We’ve had NFL teams come to Spurs and I can kick the ball as high and as far as them, but not on a consistent basis so I would need a bit of practice first,” Kane said.
Players from other sports — notably Australian football and rugby — have made a successful transition to the NFL, with 49ers running back and return man Jarryd Hayne the most recent example. But there’s a fundamental difference: Australian football and rugby players have a financial incentive to play in the NFL because they can make more money in America. Top European soccer stars make more money than NFL kickers, so if the 22-year-old Kane continues to be a successful soccer player across the pond, he would be losing money by trying football. And if he tried kicking in the NFL only after he’s past his prime in soccer, he would probably be past the age when he’d be able to make a move to the NFL.
Realistically, Kane won’t become an NFL kicker. But the mere fact that he’s talking about will be taken as a success by the NFL, which is trying hard to establish popularity in England. A popular English athlete talking up the NFL is music to the ears of the league office.