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.

46 responses to “NFL to host veteran combine for free agents in March

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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……

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. “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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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!!! 🙂

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