Well, the UFL finally has addressed the curious presence on Omaha Nighthawks’ roster of various former NFL players who have not yet agreed to play for the team, including quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the first pick in the 2007 draft.
Though some of the men haven’t signed contracts, the Nighthawks have secured dibs on the players, via the UFL draft or otherwise. And so the Nighthawks have placed the men on the roster.
Other UFL teams are apparently doing the same thing.
“Players listed on UFL rosters are a combination of signed and unsigned players,” the league said in a release. “Teams own the UFL rights to the players listed on their respective roster provided they are not signed to another professional team’s roster.”
That’s fine. But the rosters need to point out this distinction. Though some would argue that it’s no different than an NFL team listing unsigned draft picks on its roster, NFL draft picks almost always sign with the team that holds their rights. For the UFL, targeting various free agents who are not under currently contract with NFL teams, but who presumably would like to be, looks more like a list to be recited while sitting on the lap of a large man in a red suit who smells like beef and cheese.