New United Football League coach Jerry Glanville has said that the NFL’s loss from a lockout stands to be his young league’s gain.
Glanville said that the UFL will be in position to scoop up the undrafted free agents following the NFL draft next weekend. Typically, NFL teams reach agreement with six to a dozen undrafted free agents immediately following the draft. Under terms of the lockout, teams will not be permitted to contact undrafted free agents.
Chicago Bears personnel director Tim Ruskell is not certain the NFL will lose talent, even undrafted talent.
“It’s hard to say that,” Ruskell said. “I don’t know. You wouldn’t think it would get to that stage. The NFL is the NFL and we have to go with that and cooler heads will prevail. I don’t think that that’s anything that anybody’s thinking about right now. That’s the way we’ll look at it.”
Glanville is thinking about it though. The challenge for undrafted free agents in the NFL will be making a 53-man roster with limited opportunities to make an impression. If the lockout wipes out the entire offseason, it will be difficult for those players to be seen. If the preseason is reduced, it will be even more difficult.
Ultimately, young players need to get game film somewhere, be it in the NFL or UFL.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune