Now that the UFL season has ended, NFL teams continue to be interested in UFL players. But since UFL players can’t be signed to active NFL rosters without payment of a $150,000 transfer fee, no UFL players have been signed to active NFL rosters, yet.
Talk persists that no NFL team wants to be the first one to make the payment, and that once one does others will follow suit. At some point, the league could face an antitrust lawsuit from the UFL, if no team is willing to pony up the money as the result of an apparent agreement among 32 separate businesses not to pay the UFL for its players.
Last week, the Vikings worked out running back Lorenzo Booker. But the UFL wouldn’t waive the fee, and the Vikings wouldn’t pay it. We’re told that quarterback Josh McCown either has worked out or will work out for the Lions, and that he remains subject to the transfer fee.
Likewise, Aaron Wilson reports that Nick Novak worked out for the Bengals, but that the Bengals wouldn’t pay the fee. (Hell, we’re surprised they paid for the plane ticket.)
Linebacker Gerard Lawson lamented his situation on Twitter earlier today: “If it wasn for this dumb ass 150k release fee from the UFL I would b a JET right now.” (At least he isn’t blaming God.)
On Friday, UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue suggested during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show (the guest host that day really sucked) that the $150,000 fee is negotiable. Still, it appears that not a penny has been offered to purchase the ability to sign a UFL player.
Meanwhile, several UFL players have been signed to practice squads, from which they can be promoted to active rosters without payment of the transfer fee. The only problem? Eligibility for a practice squad is limited to players will little or no NFL experience. Already, the Cowboys has taken advantage of the loophole, signing safety Andrew Sendejo last week and then calling him up to the active roster.