After the NFL allowed a clearly unqualified female kicker to show up for a Regional Combine and then ridiculed her for making a mockery of the process due to the fact that she was clearly unqualified, one key fact became clear. The league, in an apparent effort to create an American Idol vibe, allowed anyone to try out who was: (1) at least three years removed from high school; and (2) willing to pay $275.
As PFT noted at the time, that’s a lot cheaper than any fantasy camp out there.
Since then, I’ve paid little or no attention to the entire Regional Combine dynamic, primarily because the ability of any Joe Schmoe to show up and write a check and slap on cleats and show his (lack of) stuff turned the entire thing into a potential farce. At some point since then, the NFL has reached the same conclusion.
As noticed by MDS, the NFL’s website devoted to the Regional Combine now points out that the process is “limited to players who are eligible for the 2016 Draft and who played college football during the 2015 collegiate season.” The process isn’t open to players eligible for a prior draft, and the league states in two separate part of the page that “NFL Regional Combines are not fantasy camps.”
They may not be now, but at one point they were. The fact that the league has slammed the door on the ability of anyone and everyone to try out for the NFL confirms that they never should have been.