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NFL to host veteran combine for free agents in March

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With the emergence of regional combines which allow through-the-cracks rookies to get a chance before NFL scouts, the NFL has now decided to offer veterans the same chance.

The league sent out a memo to teams, which PFT has obtained a copy of, which outlines their plan for the first Veteran Combine on March 22.

The event will allow veteran free agents to go through the same kinds of drills and testing draft prospects go through in Indianapolis, with representatives of all 32 clubs on hand.

Veteran free agents have been allowed at regional rookie combines in recent years, but this gives teams a chance to get a like-for-like look at guys who have played in the league.

Players can apply with the league, and around 100 will be chosen to appear at the event, which will be held at the Cardinals training facility, just before the owner’s meeting in Phoenix.

It’s a good idea to give veteran players a chance to hang on, and it also provides some more television inventory possibilities for a league that’s trying to expand into every nook and cranny of the calendar.

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46 Responses to “NFL to host veteran combine for free agents in March”
  1. floratiotime says: Jan 15, 2015 1:38 PM

    I doubt most veterans will participate.

  2. phillygreen20 says: Jan 15, 2015 1:39 PM

    T.O. and Chad Ochocinco will be the first players signing up for this.

  3. patsarethegoat says: Jan 15, 2015 1:39 PM

    Cash grab by the NFL Network

    Think Aaron Curry will show up with Jamarcus Russell?

  4. RegisHawk says: Jan 15, 2015 1:40 PM

    This will last until one of them gets hurt. Then none of them will bother risking their futures any more.

  5. joeflaccoallday says: Jan 15, 2015 1:41 PM

    For once a good idea from the NFL. I’m shocked.

  6. dc49er says: Jan 15, 2015 1:42 PM

    I hope NFL Network airs this. I…we need all I can to get me through the offseason.

  7. jcmeyer10 says: Jan 15, 2015 1:43 PM

    Warner was stocking shelves at one point. I think this is a smart idea.

  8. axx1 says: Jan 15, 2015 1:50 PM

    The sad part is that people will actually watch this.

  9. edgarpoe3 says: Jan 15, 2015 1:51 PM

    It may be helpful for players that were injured, suspended, benched or out of football for awhile. But I’m not so sure this will go over well with most veterans.

  10. asimonetti88 says: Jan 15, 2015 1:54 PM

    Could be fun. Let’s get Darrell Green out there to run some 40s

  11. brenenostler says: Jan 15, 2015 1:55 PM

    This sounds like something Josh Freeman could use

  12. touchdownroddywhite says: Jan 15, 2015 1:55 PM

    Here’s your chance Tebow!

  13. xpensivewinos says: Jan 15, 2015 1:57 PM

    Any free agent who’s in great shape and something to prove will totally be up for the shot at showing what he can do in front of every team.

    Only takes one……

  14. jgedgar70 says: Jan 15, 2015 1:58 PM

    This only works on TV if Rich Eisen in a suit races T.O. in a 40-yard dash.

  15. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 15, 2015 1:58 PM

    Can you imagine Michael Sam and Tebow on the same field trying out? ESPN’s heads will collectively explode.

  16. mkelly534 says: Jan 15, 2015 1:59 PM

    I think this will work for vets with less than 2 or 3 years in the league. I could not see an 7 year player submitting to this. Why would they need to? They have game tape and coaches in the league who can tell you all you need to know

  17. shakabraddah777 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:01 PM

    This is a great idea. Right on NFL, bet there will be some good storylines out there. It’s great for the players and for the NFL, win win. …and for us, the fans,….win win win!

  18. craigissosensitive says: Jan 15, 2015 2:02 PM

    I like it

  19. vipod4ever says: Jan 15, 2015 2:04 PM

    Rich Eisen now has a level playing field to show his stuff! The return of the “Yom Kippur Clipper”!

  20. dfields4 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:12 PM

    I’m all for it. However the guys who slip through the cracks generally aren’t the “workout” warriors that shine at combines anyway. Kurt Warner wouldn’t have wowed anyone at a combine or a workout. He had incredible anticipation and poise. There aren’t combine workouts for those two attributes. Same goes for Tom Brady. But get those guys in a game and they shine.

    I see the Darius Heyward-Bey’s and Stephen Hill’s of the world shining at this thing. Guys who look good in shorts and can run. Terelle Pryor will be all the rage…

  21. FinFan68 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:12 PM

    Just another ploy to pry every last dollar from their consumers. If you think the NFL has a noble purpose of getting a few vets another chance, you need some serious help. The league knows that enough dumb people exist to make this profitable. They charge tickets for media interviews and people buy them. It’s crazy.

  22. SeenThisB4 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:13 PM

    Only a 100 free agents? Seems a bit low. 150 would be better.

  23. xsm941f says: Jan 15, 2015 2:16 PM

    At first I rolled my eyes but after I thought about it, it is a brilliant idea. I think just as many that watch the college combine will watch this. In fact maybe more since many of the participants may be guys you’ve heard of before. Whoever thought of this should get a raise.

  24. tonymontana45 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:17 PM

    This is a great idea. To some commentators, it’s worth noting that this isn’t free top free agents. The people this is meant for have either been out of the league or have trouble finding a job. This is for Michael Sam, Tebow, Rice and Ocho. Not players coming into free agency like Suh. More football is always a good thing and it would be interesting to see if any of these players have anything to contribute.

  25. bobsnygiants says: Jan 15, 2015 2:18 PM

    Another gimmick

  26. randomguy9999 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:20 PM

    vets who participate will get branded as ‘the guy on the team who was so desperate he tried out’

    it will be like TO doing sit ups in his driveway, nobody will take any guy seriously who does this.

  27. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 15, 2015 2:29 PM

    mkelly534 says:
    Jan 15, 2015 1:59 PM
    I think this will work for vets with less than 2 or 3 years in the league. I could not see an 7 year player submitting to this. Why would they need to? They have game tape and coaches in the league who can tell you all you need to know


    Need to show that you still have it. Plus, typical workouts are on a on call basis. They call you if they need the help. I’m assuming that there will be more representatives from various teams at this combine. So instead of traveling to, say, Detroit to workout for the Lions and having them pass on you. You can workout for multiple teams all in one location and have some options. It’s a good idea and long overdue.

  28. scantenii says: Jan 15, 2015 2:32 PM

    I would watch or at least watch highlights. This will be better than the Pro Bowl.

  29. perkjctc says: Jan 15, 2015 2:36 PM

    I think this is a great idea and hopefully it gets a few guys a job. I just don’t plan on watching it just like I don’t watch the college combine.

  30. pau49ers says: Jan 15, 2015 2:37 PM

    Players hold out and play free agency to make an extra 1 million dollars over 5 years. If this puts them in the lime light and makes them extra money they will be there. Watch the dominos fall – once one player does it and gets more money than expected, they will all do it.

  31. pftpoetsboyfriend says: Jan 15, 2015 2:50 PM

    “This will last until one of them gets hurt. Then none of them will bother risking their futures any more.”


    I don’t think you understand. This will be for guys looking for work, not veterans under contract.

  32. steves11 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:51 PM

    They could call this the “Unemployed Players Combine”. Since this will be held after free agency starts on March 10th, the good free agents will all be gone by then. This combine will be left with only the fringe players and players who have already been out of the NFL for a while.

  33. Marshawn Lunch says: Jan 15, 2015 2:52 PM

    So, if more than 100 players sign up for this are they seriously going to say “No, you can’t participate.” to the rest?

  34. steves11 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:54 PM

    I wonder if Donovan McNabb will sign up for this. He still thinks he could be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

  35. runnerrunner1 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:58 PM

    Come on to the guys complaining about the NFL money grabbing. This is going to be on the NFL network, they already grabbed that money!

    This is just programming. Interesting programing if some old popular names show up, TO, Chad, Clarrett, etc, etc.

  36. jazz11001 says: Jan 15, 2015 2:59 PM

    Put them all back into the draft. A Veterans draft.

  37. drunkwino says: Jan 15, 2015 3:47 PM

    Good to know that nobody at NFL HQ has ever heard of overexposure.

    This only sounds good for the “workout warrior,” type. You know, the ones who only got a chance in the NFL because of their measurables only to flame out because measurements don’t always transfer to the field. They’ll get another chance to wow some suckers with the same measurables that won’t transfer to the field all over again. Of course, I don’t understand why people watch the NFL meat market combine in the first place. It’s paint drying levels of boring watching guys run in a straight line and jumping in place.

  38. mistrezzrachael says: Jan 15, 2015 5:20 PM

    So, lets see…100 players.

    That can be filled by inviting all the ex QB’S in last 10 years from jets, dolphins, cardinals and vikings…supervised by Brett Farve

  39. kuranda84 says: Jan 15, 2015 5:44 PM

    I think it’s a cool idea. Always cool to see guys’ measurables.

  40. Deb says: Jan 15, 2015 7:02 PM

    It’s a little like asking an established star to audition, so players that already balk at coming to camp may not be thrilled with running drills at a Combine. But as a one-sport viewer, I’ll be happy to invite the league into my home in March.

  41. realityonetwo says: Jan 16, 2015 6:33 AM

    Will they test to see if these guys know how to play football, or just how fast they can run?

  42. braddavery says: Jan 16, 2015 9:09 AM

    FINALLY an outlet for Jeff George to show the world he still has it.

  43. volleyballnstuff says: Jan 16, 2015 9:36 AM

    This is such a great idea…a real opportunity for the Michael Sam and Tim Tebow’s of the world to get in front of NFL brass for another look. I think it’s such a great idea, that it should be mandatory attendance for any Free Agents to remain eligible.

    Those who suggest that the Free Agents would balk at having to basically audition again, I say TOO BAD. Swallow your pride, get out there on the field, go through the drills like you still have fire in your belly and passion for the game, and show that you deserve another look.

  44. completefan says: Jan 16, 2015 9:41 AM

    Chances are, Jim Popp will put all 100 players on the Alouettes negotiation list.

  45. nextmanisme says: Jan 18, 2015 12:45 AM

    To bad they didnt make a legends combine I don’t care how old they are it would be awesome to see old legends hit the filed .I.e. berry Sanders, deon, moreno,jerry rice,sapp, steve young michal ervin JOE montana John lynch terry bradshaw howie long ect. Lol thats prime time tv if you ask me!!! 🙂

  46. nextmanisme says: Jan 18, 2015 12:47 AM

    Ohh yeah eric Dickerson

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