When the UFL announced that they would be having there inaugural season this fall, I was excited, very excited.
It's not just because it's more football, but because it offers something a little bit different, something that the XFL and other start-up leagues didn't.
Now, I don't believe that this league will act as a competitor. Not at first anyway. But it will offer a safety net to all those players that fall through the gaps in NFL scouting departments.
There are some players in college who go undrafted, but that doesn't mean that they are bad players. Maybe they just need more time to develop. However after going undrafted, getting signed and then released several times a summer, some drop off the face of the earth, or go over to Europe. But in some scouting circles, it's the same difference.
Kurt Warner was undrafted, Bart Scott was undrafted, and Tom Brady was close to being undrafted. All of these players are now good NFL players, but for every mistake that is rectified there are 10 that get away.
The UFL are not star hunting. They are not throwing money in the direction of NFL free agents to try and compete straight away. That's just not a smart business move. Trying to compete straight off the bat with a national institution like the NFL is only going to end one way, and you can ask other start up league CEO's what way that is.
However, the UFL are offering players who slip through from the NFL a chance to prove that they belong on a football field. As a Notre Dame football fan, Maurice Crum Jr. might find it difficult to stick with a NFL team this summer. He was an undrafted player.
However, he is a good player, so seeing the UFL give him a chance if he fails to find a NFL team has certainly got me interested in the league.
So that brings me back to my initial point: the NFL and UFL can work together. The UFL offers a developmental league, one that the NFL doesn't have to pay for (unlike NFL Europe which the NFL pays for).
There is more money to be made in the UFL than there would be if a player stayed on a NFL practice squad, and how much can you really understand a player's ability from there practice squad performance? Teams need to see them in live game action to really gauge where a player's ability stands.
The UFL has already signed a television contract with Versus: extra exposure, more revenue, better league performance.
Who doesn't want more football? I know I will watch just about any football they put on TV, but if I have a chance to see some of my old college favorites playing professional football, I'm taking that chance and running with it.
The NFL doesn't need to be wary of the UFL; it needs to embrace it. And there are signs that it already is beginning to.
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