Three years after entering the NFL as a third-round pick in the draft, running back Lorenzo Booker effectively ended his UFL career by boycotting his team’s regular-season finale.
Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant reports that Booker sat out Saturday’s game between the Las Vegas Locomotives and the Hartford Colonials in protest of the league’s $150,000 transfer fee. The Colonials overcame Booker’s absence to upend the championship-game-bound Locos, 27-14.
Booker spent 2007 with the Dolphins and 2008 with the Eagles. Like many UFL players, Booker is hoping to get back to the NFL. Though folks like Commissioner Michael Huyghue and UFL part-owner Mark Cuban think that NFL teams should be happy to pay for quality players, Booker and other players believe they were lured to the UFL with promises that the transfer fee would be waived after the UFL season ends.
“I told him by playing he would have an opportunity to get out [of the UFL],” coach Chris Palmer said, per Doyle. “By not playing, I think that wasn’t going to bode well for him. I didn’t think that would be the message he would want to articulate for [NFL] teams that were interested in him. But as a coach, if you try to force them to play and they go out there and get hurt because their mind is not in the game, I think you’re in a situation where you’re looking for trouble.”
Trouble has found the Locos, whose quarterback situation suddenly is in flux. Chase Clement threw three interceptions in his first career start, and he eventually was benched for former start Drew Willy.
“It’s definitely up in the air,” coach Jim Fassel said regarding the question of who’ll start next weekend’s title game against the Florida Tuskers.
Maybe they can offer an NFL team $150,000 for a quarterback.