Regardless of how this plays out the damage for the United Football League has already been done. Players come to this league in hopes of proving themselves to NFL teams. In year one UFL contracts were up following the UFL championship game, meaning the players of the UFL could move directly on to a NFL roster and many did just that. Now the upstart football league wants a 150 grand payment for players to move up to the NFL. Worse than that they not only want to enforce that during their season, but want the payment through February of 2011.
That means a NFL team would have to pay out 150k to sign a UFL player for the current NFL season. This is a move in direct competition with how the UFL has tried to sell it self not only to their fans but to their players as well. After last year’s UFL season many players signed on with NFL teams, only one QB JP Losman was lost to a NFL team for UFL year two.
Players go the UFL to make 50k a year and prove themselves worthy of a NFL deal. Make no mistake about this, and I am the biggest UFL fan out there, this move puts the future of this league in serious jeopardy. There is no incentive for players to come to this league and play. While UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue has yet to make this move completely official, the damage is done. Players will not want to sign a UFL contract next year if it locks them out of a potential NFL deal later.
It is not like the UFL has the financial resources to compensate the players the way that the NFL does. I am betting that they are betting on a NFL lock out and players having nowhere to play next year. Why not make some quick jack for a league that may be the only game in town next season. It is a risky move that has pissed off everyone and that could be the death of the latest upstart football league.
- The Business of the UFL
- UFL Examiner
- Joshua Lobdell.com