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Huyghue changes course on “transfer fee” in “crazy contract”

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On Tuesday, some UFL players balked at an intention by UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue to refuse to allow UFL players to leave for the NFL after the UFL season ends, absent payment of a $150,000 “transfer fee.”

After we posted a story on the item, UFL players nearly treated Huyghue like Brad Childress, threatening to walk off the practice field and/or boycott this weekend’s games.

On Wednesday, Huyghue saw the light.  And he’s now acting as if he had seen the light all along.

“From Day One, our policy has been the same — once a team’s season ends, any player is free to go to the NFL,” Huyghue told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  “We want our players to go to the NFL.  I’m not sure where that rumor on the Internet started, but there’s no truth to it.”

The “rumor” isn’t a rumor.  Multiple sources have confirmed that, indeed, the UFL intended to collect the $150,000 per player in an effort to help the fledgling league earn money.  And as word got around, the players got mad.

Based on comments from multiple players, it sure looks like the “rumor” is indeed the truth.  “If he says so and puts it down on paper, fine,” Las Vegas Locomotives linebacker Brandon Moore told the Review-Journal.  “If not, it’s like we have been taken advantage of.”

It’s a great point, given that the UFL player contract says that the transfer fee applies through February 2011.

Tight end Adam Bergen was more pragmatic about a resolution.  “I’m not worried,” Bergen told the Review-Journal.  “If they don’t [waive the fee], there won’t be a league because nobody will want to play [in the UFL].”

Former NFL kicker Steven Hauschka put it best.  “I think it would be stupid if they didn’t let guys go,” Hauschka told the Review-Journal.  “My understanding is that they’ll let guys leave as soon as the season’s over.  But we all signed that crazy contract, and when we signed, we knew it could be an issue.”

Former Giants head coach Jim Fassel, who recently has been beating the bushes about getting back to the NFL, has assumed a pro-UFL stance.  “I’m trying to get us ready to play a game Saturday,” Fassel said, per the Review-Journal.  “But I believe this will all get worked out once the season ends.  I think the league has to protect its investment.  It spends a lot of money on these players.”

Right, but the players are only playing for roughly $50,000 per year because they believe that it improves their chances of playing in the NFL.  Just as Fassel is coaching in the UFL in an effort to get back to the NFL.  Though the chances are slim, the hope carries great value.  And if the UFL takes away that hope, plenty of guys will choose another path for trying to get back to the NFL.

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8 Responses to “Huyghue changes course on “transfer fee” in “crazy contract””
  1. roethlisberger says: Nov 18, 2010 12:59 PM

    The “rumor” isn’t a rumor. Multiple sources have confirmed that,
    Mike, I believe that’s the definition of a rumor. 100 sources can “confirm” anything, but until it’s announced, it’s a rumor.

  2. ravensrule says: Nov 18, 2010 1:08 PM

    Cam Newton is going to be the best UFL player of all time. Even better than JP Losman….

  3. andyprough says: Nov 18, 2010 1:17 PM

    Memo to UFL guy – the NFL throws hundred million dollar contracts at people like Albert Hainsworth-less. If they aren’t willing to pay a $150K “transfer fee” to get you, what do you think your real worth is to an NFL team? About a thousand times less than Albert Hainsworth-less?

    I thought so

  4. highfivefootballfan says: Nov 18, 2010 1:39 PM

    andyprough says:
    Nov 18, 2010 1:17 PM
    Memo to UFL guy – the NFL throws hundred million dollar contracts at people like Albert Hainsworth-less. If they aren’t willing to pay a $150K “transfer fee” to get you, what do you think your real worth is to an NFL team? About a thousand times less than Albert Hainsworth-less?

    I thought so
    ===================================

    andyprough…either you don’t understand this article, or i don’t. and my money’s on you.

  5. luvthatdirtywatah says: Nov 18, 2010 1:43 PM

    mike maybe you otta start a kindaprofootballtalk.com for the UFL.

  6. plt2006 says: Nov 18, 2010 1:44 PM

    Michael Huyghue helped build the Jacksonville Jaguars from nothing into a playoff team, and then helped run them into the ground.

    He’s a startup guy, and likely needs to be replaced. Just like in any business, the guy who takes you from 1 million to 5 million in revenue isn’t often the one who can take you from 5 to 20, or 20 to 100.

  7. andyprough says: Nov 18, 2010 2:30 PM

    @highfivefootballfan

    The article is about UFL players being upset that the NFL may have to pay a $150K transfer fee to get them after the UFL season is over. Players feel that the fee will hurt their chances to hook on with an NFL team, which is the whole reason they are playing in the UFL. My point is that $150K is nothing for an NFL team to pay to get a skilled player, and if teams are unwilling to pay that fee, those teams must not really think those players have the requisite skills.

  8. realitypolice says: Nov 18, 2010 2:37 PM

    andyprough says:
    Nov 18, 2010 1:17 PM
    Memo to UFL guy – the NFL throws hundred million dollar contracts at people like Albert Hainsworth-less. If they aren’t willing to pay a $150K “transfer fee” to get you, what do you think your real worth is to an NFL team? About a thousand times less than Albert Hainsworth-less?

    I thought so
    ==================

    It’s all about leverage. Whether it’s 150k or 15om, smart businesses don’t shell out a dime they don’t think they have to.

    They know the UFL will cave on the transfer fee, so they demand it.

    But I agree with you in the respect that I think there are alot of UFL with delusions of grandeur. Most are in the UFL for a reason.

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