The good folks that run the United Football League have drawn a line in the sand, and will continue to insist on a transfer payment for UFL players given contracts to be on NFL active rosters. As a business decision this makes a lot of sense as the league, through its teams, ahs spent time and money developing these players, and that certainly has some value. However this league was billed as a stepping stone for players to get to the NFL or is some cases get back to the NFL. The NFL does not want its team’s to pay the 150k transfer fee, and no NFL team wants to be the first one to do so. The problem with that is some teams may be forced to do exactly that.
The Detroit Lions worked out Hartford Colonials QB Josh McCown today. They did so because starter Matthew Stafford is out with injury, backup Shaun Hill looks to have a not only a broken forearm but a broken finger as well, and Zac Robinson and Drew Stanton are not ready to play in the NFL. The Lions may be forced to put McCown on their active roster for this week’s game against the Chicago Bears and be the first team to pay the transfer fee.
Of course there is a giant loophole for NFL teams to take advantage of. If a UFL player is signed to a NFL practice squad first, and then given an active roster spot the fee does not apply. The Dallas Cowboys have taken advantage of this by signing former Sacramento Mountain Lions Safety Andrew Sendejo to their practice squad and then promoted him to the active roster for this week’s contest.
There is of course a catch. To be eligible for a NFL practice squad a player must not have played more than nine games on an active NFL roster in any one season. That would rule out a lot of the top tier talent of the UFL.
- The Business of the UFL
- The Business of the NFL
- Joshua Lobdell.com