Anyone (yes, anyone) can try out for the NFL

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Maybe the Regional Scouting Combines will indeed begin to look like American Idol.  The first wave of annual episodes, that is.

A Twitter debate between NFL spokesman Greg Aiello and yours truly fleshed out an amazing fact regarding the talent search process the league launched in 2012.

According to Aiello, the Regional Scouting Combines are an open tryout.  As in wide open.  As in anyone can try out.

Well, not anyone.  The usual barriers apply to kids still in college.  But if you are at least three years out of high school, you’re old enough to try out.

It also costs $275.  But that’s a lot cheaper than any fantasy camp out there.

Aiello’s comments came in response to our most recent item on the Lauren Silberman tryout, where we call out for calling out Silberman for her publicity-stunt tryout but not calling out the league for allowing it, and for giving it publicity.

According to Aiello, the league has no standards or thresholds or experience requirements.  If you have the $275 and if you are eligible from an age standpoint, you can try out for the NFL.

Of course, that’s not how the NFL previously has explained the process.  In the November 18, 2012 press release announcing the dates of the Regional Combines, the league said that the events are “conducted specifically for” the following:  players eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft but not attending the National Scouting Combine; players with college playing experience who want to gauge their pro potential; players with some pro playing experience but who have been out of the game for a period of time.

That would exclude Lauren Silberman.  Who never played football.  At any level.

According to Aiello, however, the rules apparently have changed.  No experience or skill or ability or anything is required.

So those of you who have $275 and who think you have the skills to play in the NFL or who want some free publicity or who simply prefer losing your money there instead of at the blackjack tables, go to One Buc Place in Tampa on March 9, Halas Hall on March 10, the Falcons facility on March 16 and 17, the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Seattle on March 23-24, or the Under Armour Performance Center in Baltimore on March 23-24.

Or go to more than one.  Or go to all of them.

And tell ’em Greg Aiello sent you.  Or PFT.  Or both.

80 responses to “Anyone (yes, anyone) can try out for the NFL

  1. Look at it this way – assuming you enter and pay your money. I’m sure you get some sort of confirmation/information from the NFL.

    You now have that sucker framed in your office, even if you don’t go.

    It shows everyone “I went to the combine in the NFL, didn’t work out tho….”

    It’s going to become a 275.00 status symbol.

    IIRC you can do something similar to the NBA. You send a letter to the league stating your intention to forgo the rest of your college eligibility and enter the NBA draft. You then get a letter stating you’re in the draft from the NBA.

    Maxim did an article on it 15 years or so ago? Maybe?

  2. Seriously, Mike.

    Anyone, regardless of experience, should be able to attend one of these camps and try out. That’s what it’s about. If you clear the requirements to join the NFL (3 years removed from high school), you should be able to have a shot.

    Stephen Neal never played college football. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Patriots and anchored the offensive line for 10 years, including the 3 Super Bowl-winning teams.

    Point granted, that’s the exception and not the rule. But I believe it proves that anyone that has $275 to spend should be able to do it, if the NFL is willing to organize it. You never know what diamond in the rough you will find. Who does it affect? If that girl or anyone that tries out gets injured, then that’s their problem and theirs alone.

  3. Your protests and complaints to the tryout would seem much more genuine if you at least acknowledge the site’s own March 3 article that included the line:

    “too bad that an injury got in the way of her giving it her best shot.”

  4. Normally I’d make a joke about “twitter beef”, but Aiello is such an insufferable spin doctor that I’ll shut up and just enjoy this.

  5. No thanks….I already waste my money in season tix on a Bills team that is done by the beginning of November…

  6. Uuuuhh…PFT, I think maybe you should reimburse the lady her entry fee, considering what she has contributed to your website in these slow times. Maybe buy her a trip to somewhere warm as well. Along with a nice sailboat to get her there.

  7. This reminds me of that episode of it’s always sunny in Philadelphia where the gang tries out for the eagles lol.

  8. If the grammatica’s are allowed to go out and try and tackle so can a woman. I bet 20 percent of the chicks that show up can out tackle both of them.

  9. This whole thing was totally disrespectful to the players who were there to give an actual tryout. I played college football and would have loved to have participated in one of these regional combines just for the slightest chance of catching an NFL teams eye so it sucks that the people there with that same mindset had to play second fiddle to this publicity stunt.

    Man woman or anything in between you should not be allowed to participate in one of these combines unless you have legitimate football experience.

  10. “We’re doing this for you because of your harassment!…and love for the new kids on the block movie” haha

  11. as fun as it would be to show off your 6.7 40 time and noodle arm, you’d probably be hurting the chances of the hardworking players with legitimate nfl aspirations.

  12. whats better a stock from the green bay packers with no value or a tryout that holds no merit

  13. If there was a Boston one I would be there. I have decent hang time on my punts and can still run a 4.5 40. I’m no where near a top 32 punters in the world, but I at least wouldn’t embarrass myself too badly.

  14. Considering I am going to law school for fees much higher than this, along with getting a job that pays for much less, I say go for it.

    Hell, I might start my weight lifting, running training again to try out.

  15. After the total humiliation of the ‘Oops – Tom Brady Really Did Take Less Money’ fiasco, it’s a good idea take everyone’s mind off recent posts.

  16. this is ooold news, how do you think the Raiders have gotten their majority of players for all these years?

  17. Guess the Spencer tag issue didn’t blow up like you hoped it would, so you had to pin something the win column, huh?

  18. Just another money-grab from Goodell. I mean, he’s already sold game film and want to sell access to the combine. Why not sell tryouts? I mean, NFL fans are suckers, they’ll buy anything!

  19. The Cowboys should consider anyone who shows up with $275 and wants to be a QB…

  20. After extensive practice in the backyard I have determined that I can reliably hit the ground with a football.

    Andy Reid, I’m yours for a 4th round pick.

  21. Time to loosen up the leg…who am I kidding, I’m not an athlete anymore. Just like that chick. Difference is I’m not going to make an ass of myself and waste the time of Scouts.

  22. 3 stories about this in 1 day?! Can’t you find anything else to write about? Your stream-of-consciousness journalism has to go.

  23. Can someone tellme why WR Jesse Schmidt has never made an NFL team? The guy is the best Arena League receiver I have ever seen.

  24. Pretty pathetic that the nfl has become so money grubbing it wants to charge $25 to attend the combine and now these fees to attend the regionals.

    Really nfl ??? Really? The paltry few thousand dollars those fees will make is really necessary?

    Pigs at the trough

  25. I ask about washed up veterans being able to try out because Ochocinco would probably like to let teams know that he can run.

  26. I can run the forty in 5.5 and throw wobbly passes 25 yards down field. I’ll play for ham sandwiches.

  27. conormacleod says: Mar 4, 2013 8:44 PM

    Oh please please please have a ton of half liquored up fat bastards show up to these tryouts.
    I’m in! Who else is coming with?

  28. This is horrible. A lot of college players. Specifically people who graduated just before me. Would love the opportunity to go to one of these but thats just ridiculous. 8 second 40 times and women? This might discourage some D-2 and D-1aa players.

  29. Oh the hilarity… You guys are making me laugh. If this turns into a big enough circus, you can bet it will be turned into the next reality show. Everyone can scratch up $275… Go get ’em guys! & gal.

  30. Do we get to keep the tshirt and shorts?


    Florio, nice baiting of Aiello…and waiting for your response on his inevitable response.

  31. raiderapologist says: Mar 4, 2013 8:58 PM

    I’ll just pay the $25 to watch the combine. That leaves me with $250 for beer and a hooker.



  32. Are these open to the public to watch?

    Why pay money to watch Invincible, when I can just roll into the local combine location and watch a bunch of no talent dummies with money for free?

  33. Calling out the writer for giving this Sildeman chick attention? Now that’s fresh coming from the arrogant Bob Costas wannabe that started this whole thing by continually writing about it.

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