It will probably take a few years, but the NFL seems on its way to creating its own farm system - primarily overseas.

The plan to create the spring league, one way to prevent the stashing of players on injured reserve, will be discussed at the owners meeting that begins March 19 in Palm Springs, Calif. But it's not likely to be implemented for a while, if at all."This is in the early, and I mean VERY early, discussion stage," NFL spokesman Joe Browne said Sunday.

Nonetheless, when the plan was presented last week in New Orleans by Commissioner Pete Rozelle to a joint meeting of the long-range planning and finance committee, it received what one source present called "a quite enthusiastic reception." Hugh Culverhouse, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and chairman of the finance committee, reportedly said he would be willing to put as much as $20 million into the idea.