If you think you are seeing more NFL players making cameos on TV shows, it is not your imagination. From the Wall Street Journal:
When CBS signed its deal to carry Thursday night football in 2014, part of its pitch was the power of its programming to promote the league and its players and that is when there was a marked increase in cameos by NFL stars.
“CBS uses the prime time line up to promote Thursday night football and they think the best way to do that is to integrate their programming with players, which we love and agree with,” said Tracy Perlman, the NFL’s vice president of marketing and entertainment. “We had a meeting with their marketing people and the conversation became, `what can we do to show you that we’re unique?’” …
For the NFL, whose image has taken a hit when its players have run-ins with the law — from domestic abuse accusations to gun incidents — putting its stars on TV is an opportunity to show them in a good light and attempt to counter the negative perceptions.