As of now, the UFL is the only professional football league in America scheduled to play games in 2011, which should prove quite beneficial to a league struggling to find its place in the market in 2010.
Even when the lockout lifts and the NFL schedule resumes, though, the UFL still figures to be relevant. How so? UFL players can be signed to NFL rosters as free agents. Think of the UFL as a farm system of sorts; it allows maligned or lesser-known players the ability to stay in football shape and put themselves on film in order to potentially entice an NFL team into signing them as a free agent for the stretch run of their season.
Is this common? No. But occasionally a solid UFL player finds himself contributing on an NFL roster. Consider Dominic Rhodes. The former Indianapolis Colt ran for the Florida Tuskers in 2010 before re-joining the Colts for the final quarter of the season. In those three NFL games, Rhodes averaged 4.6 yards per carry on 37 rushes.
While it is not likely that any 2011 UFL player will have a substantial impact on a 2011 NFL roster, a few players could still find themselves on an NFL roster and at least contributing. Here is a look at five UFL players who could play their way into the NFL in 2011.