Last week, U.S. soccer legend Carli Lloyd visited the Philadelphia Eagles training camp and nailed a 55-yard field goal. The lifelong Eagles fan and two-time World Cup champion didn’t think much of it at the time — “I could not believe the attention on social media,” she later said — but at least one NFL general manager did.
According to Fox Sports, the 37-year-old Lloyd was invited this week to kick in an NFL preseason game. Lloyd’s trainer, James Galanis, told the network that on Monday a team offered Lloyd a roster spot and the chance to take the field in their final preseason game Thursday. She had to turn down the invitation though. The U.S. Women’s National Team is playing Portugal the same night.
Even if she hadn’t had a conflict, Galanis said he’s not sure Lloyd would have accepted without much time to prepare. “Knowing Carli, I don’t think she would just hop on and do it,” he said. “She would need a couple of weeks training just to get comfortable and acclimatized. But things have escalated and it is real.”
What’s real is the possibility that Lloyd could find herself on a football field. Other GMs have expressed interest in her powerful right leg and the idea of her getting picked up by an NFL team was endorsed by Football Hall of Famer Gil Brandt, who spent nearly three decades as the Cowboys’ vice-president of player personnel. “Honestly, I don’t think it will be long before we see a woman break through this NFL barrier,” he tweeted. Former NFL kickers Martin Gramatica and Jim Breech have also said NFL teams should give Lloyd a shot. “She looked pretty good to me. If she can do it in the 1.2-1.3 seconds it takes, why not?” Breech told CBS Sports. “Any team that already has a kicker that wouldn’t take away from someone making the team … give her a shot.”
In an interview with Pro Football Talk’s Peter King, Lloyd said she thinks she could perform if the opportunity arrives. “I know that I could actually probably do it,” she said. “Put on the helmet, strap on the pads, go for it. The mind-set I have, I think with practice, I know I have to work on my steps and my technique, but I think I could do it and do it well.”
She also emphasized the potential for a “pioneering moment for women,” adding, “There is no reason why a woman could not do this.”