I’m sure most of you are already tired of this topic, so I promise this will be the last time I write about the USFL unless something important happens. But before I dropped the topic, I did want to take a minute and discuss how this will affect the Seahawks.
When I first heard about the USFL’s resurrection, I was worried that it would hurt the depth in the league. I thought that the USFL would be like it was in the 80s, where mid to mate round drafts picks would choose to sign with the USFL where they would be almost guaranteed playing time. As I wrote this morning, that wont be the case.
Instead the only players roster that this will affect will be those whom the Seahawks signed to “futures” contracts after the season was over. These are practice squad guys and street free agents who were signed to fill out the roster when it expanded from the regular season level of 53, to the offseason level of 90.
These players almost never make the final roster, so we often don’t pay them any mind, but they do fill a vital roll for NFL teams. These are the players who fill out units so that way teams can have multiple drills going at once during practices. Without them, practices become less efficient, and thus less effective.
And these are the players that teams like the Seahawks will tougher time signing. I foresee them choosing to sign with a USFL instead where they can play, and showcase their talents in actual games in hopes of enticing an NFL team to give them a spot on the 53 man roster.
Obviously we’ll have to wait and see, but its worth keeping an eye after the 2012 season ends.
If the USFL does what it wants to do, than another consequence of it’s existence will be an increase in the quality of the street free agents that are available during the season. Whenever a players goes on IR, someone takes their roster spot. If the USFL really does develop players, then these free agents will be of a better quality than ever before.
While those players still will rarely have any impact on the NFL, it will make the talent pool deeper and generally better. At least in my mind, there can never be anything wrong with that.