How Many NFL Players Are Not American?

How many non-American players are part of the NFL? At the beginning of 2021, there were an astounding 136 international players in the league. Participants come from countries all over North America, Europe and South America, such as Canada, Mexico, Australia and more.

CountryPercentageNotable Players
Canada22%Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Adam Bighill
Mexico7%Luis Perez, Carlos Hyde
Australia15%Jordan Berry, Mason Cox
Other Countries56%Moritz Boehringer (Germany), Eric Wilson (Sweden)

Overview of Non-American Players in the NFL

Total number of players

This 2021 NFL season, the number of athletes across all 32 teams amounts to an impressive 1,696. Despite most being from the United States, some hail from other nations – making up a small but crucial portion of players in this league.

Percentage of non-American players

Evidently, 8% of the current NFL players come from outside the U.S., according to statistics provided by the NFL Players Association.

NFL’s International Expansion Efforts

International Player Pathway Program

Although the number of non-American players in the NFL may appear insignificant, it’s critical to recognize that football is not as heavily favored overseas as it is here. This ultimately results in a much smaller pool of international talent compared to American resources available for teams.

NFL Academy in Mexico City

Through the introduction of initiatives such as the International Player Pathway Program in 2017, NFL has worked hard to expand beyond North America and promote an increase in non-American players joining the league.

Top Sources of International Talent


Canada has seen a remarkable surge of NFL players in the past few years, boasting an impressive total of 30 Canadian athletes on active rosters. Notable examples include Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from the Kansas City Chiefs who became a history-making Super Bowl Champion back in 2020. In fact, Canada is now recognized as one of the leading sources of international talent within NFL teams across the USA and beyond!


Recently, Mexico has seen a dramatic rise in the amount of NFL players in its country. Even prior to this swell, it was known for having an abundance of able footballers due to their long-held customs and love for the sport. However, with the launch of The NFL Academy in Mexico City at the 2019’s year-end; Mexican athletes were given more resources than ever before to hone their skills as well as increase fan outreach activity leading up to greater exposure. As we speak there are nine active Mexicans on the roster within various NFL teams!


The National Football League (NFL) is no stranger to talents from Australia, with nearly 20 players contributing to the global roster. One of the most recognizable figures among them is none other than punter Jordan Berry – a star player on the Pittsburgh Steelers team.

Other countries

The NFL has extended its outreach beyond the borders of America, inviting a variety of international players such as those from Germany, Brazil, and Sweden to join their teams. This global expansion initiative has seen incredible success not just in terms of recruitment but also with regard to contribution. The diverse array of talent that originates outside the United States is vital for sustaining an atmosphere where greatness can thrive and be celebrated; it’s no wonder why the league is so successful!

Contributions of Non-American Players

Key contributors to their teams

While the percentage of non-American players in the NFL may be small, it is important to recognize the diversity and talent that these players bring to the league. Football is a global sport, and the NFL’s efforts to expand internationally have helped to bring together players from all over the world.


These players not only contribute to the success of their teams on the field, but they also help to create a more diverse and inclusive league.

In summary, the 2021 NFL season brings us 136 non-American players from across the globe – roughly 8% of active rosters. From Canada to Mexico, Australia, and Europe to South America; these varied backgrounds have had an integral impact in making this league a successful one. The NFL has done remarkably well incorporating international talent into its teams which is truly something worth celebrating!