John Kuhn feels for the undrafted rookies who won’t get a chance this year

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John Kuhn entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie out of Shippensburg University and ended up making three Pro Bowls and winning two Super Bowl rings. He feels for the undrafted rookies this year who won’t get the same opportunity to prove themselves that he did.

Kuhn noted that the cancelation of the preseason because of COVID-19 will cost a lot of players an opportunity to prove that they can compete in the NFL. And the smaller rosters — 80 players this year, instead of the normal 90 — means 320 fewer football players across the league are getting chances to make their teams.

“Zero preseason games and 10 players cut on each team before they ever touched the field,” Kuhn wrote on Twitter. “2020 is not a fair year for anyone and unfortunately this was the price that needed to be paid so that football and its star players would feel safe enough to play.”

It’s entirely possible that there’s another John Kuhn out there, an undrafted rookie who’s capable of a Pro Bowl career, whose career is now over before it started. Another bad thing about 2020.

31 responses to “John Kuhn feels for the undrafted rookies who won’t get a chance this year

  1. This is tragic, as I think of all the non-athletes who have lost their jobs, homes and lives during the pandemic.

  2. As another example, Malcolm Butler wasn’t even signed as an UDFA after the draft, it took months afterward before he even got an invitation for a tryout at the Patriots rookie minicamp, impressing enough to take the job of the current 90th man.

    And then he climbed the depth chart and made a play that won a super bowl his rookie season.

    I agree with Kuhn’s thinly veiled frustration that the top tier players are calling the shots with removing these bottom of the roster jobs. Ten players per team isn’t going to make or break the season in terms of covid, but losing those ten jobs will break someone’s dreams.

  3. “Zero preseason games and 10 players cut on each team before they ever touched the field,” Kuhn wrote on Twitter. “2020 is not a fair year for anyone and unfortunately this was the price that needed to be paid so that football and its star players would feel safe enough to play.”


    Let’s be honest, the “star” football players have always campaigned for no preseason. This is just an excuse to get something they have always wanted.

    No vet loses his roster spot in preseason this year. It’s job security. They also feel they don’t get paid enough to play in the preseason although the games still add money to the cap.

    This is going to make for some seriously horrible football the first few weeks of the season but the owners checks will clear which is really all they care about.

  4. I’m sure a few will shine when the team has no other option at whatever position gets infected with corona.

  5. Trying to understand the logic of cutting the rosters to 80 when it’s likely you will lose active players from time to time throughout the season to CV19.

  6. Didn’t theses URFA’s already have 4 years of college to show their STUFF?? Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, & the smaller rosters & no preseason hurts, however, I would not be surprised to see some players that were on a roster or practice team squad last year get the axe in place of some of the highly thought of URFA’s that coaches haven’t seen yet….. coaches already know the ability of guys from last year or even longer tenured players that they can release without much fear of risking of losing them to other teams because they will ALL be in the same position when it comes to cutting down the rosters early….

  7. 2020 is bad for almost everyone. You would have to be under a rock to not have felt the effects.

  8. I love the fact that he has the stones to call out the prima donnas. Well done. New favorite player—John Kuhn.
    Good Lord this needed to be said.

  9. Kurt Warner managed to find a way back into the league. If these young prospects are good enough they will find their way back into the league somehow. The cream always rises to the top.

  10. Even when the NFLPA campaigned for no preseason games, I always thought about the UDFA. Every year, a team will find 2 such players who got their chance from preseason games. And even if they get cut, they might sign with another team who saw their film.

    I know the common thought is “well, they got college degree; get a job.” Yeah. I suppose, keeping in mind that even people with college degrees are struggling to find jobs right now.

  11. They should expand the “futures” contracts and allow teams to secure the undrafted players to get stay under contract until start of 2021 season.

  12. His point is well taken. Stephen Simms went undrafted. But in preseason he showed he was one of the most electrifying receivers in the league and went on to star in Washington. In his last four games, when Dwayne found his grove, Sims was virtually unstoppable. And yes there are obviously greater tragedies stemming from Covid. But when a guy like Stephen Simms is denied a chance to shine, the whole league suffers.

  13. I hope it’s a lesson to college athletes that when you’re lucky enough to get a free ride to college, don’t take it for granted. The athletes that left school early, didn’t get a degree, and didn’t get drafted are about to find out how rough life is for adults in the real world.

  14. No one ever said “life was fair”…we’re all hurting in 2020 somehow.

  15. He’s not wrong. I am trying to hire. In the worst economy in 100 years I have more work than I’ve had in 20 years in civil engineering. This is the weirdest economy.

  16. I say with the ability for unexpected cases of covid, along with the probability of more injuries due to not enough on field training to get ready for the season, they should just keep the full 80 man rosters for the season.

    Still can only suit up 45, while you have a larger than usual scout team.

  17. 2020 has been a bad year for everyone, unless you’re one of the uber wealthy, then you have made plenty of money, through taxpayer dollars or claiming to know something about PPE’s. Now we will watch as millions of people lose their homes, through no fault of their own, all because the pandemic was mismanaged. I feel bad for people that will have to wait on trying to fulfill their dreams, but right now that is a very small problem to deal with.

  18. Dreams are shattered everyday for ordinary people. It’s called life in the real world. This pandemic hasn’t cornered the market on heartbreak or heartache.

  19. Cutting the roster to 80 seems like a poor way of handling it. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t hold off on some of the established starters reporting for a week or so and use that time to get a look at some of the bubble guys. They could do early cuts of the ones who clearly aren’t going to make it and then by the time the veterans came in they’d be down to around 80 yet still had a look at everybody. Not maybe as optimal as a normal camp but totally skipping looking at everybody is a far worse solution.

  20. There’s nothing that gives any confidence that there will even be a season. All NFL news has been a slow creep towards cancellation. Hall of Fame game, preseason games, covid count amongst players, the money problems…

  21. eagleswin says:

    July 22, 2020 at 7:11 am

    “….This is going to make for some seriously horrible football the first few weeks of the season but the owners checks will clear which is really all they care about”
    I highly doubt it will be any different looking than every other seasons 1st few weeks. Most starters play very little and stars play even less or not at all on a normal year and fans complain about it. So I find it absolutely ridiculous that some fans seems to think now that quarter or 2 they would normally play will make some huge difference by missing it.

  22. Kuhn overlooks the fact that the pandemic is the real culprit here . The less games played has been the template for all team sports to return . Unfortunately as all working people know those at the bottom usually take the biggest hit when cuts are made . Blaming this on star players is disingenuous at best because most if not all current NFL players seem to be on board because there hasn’t been anybody out there complaining from the star QBs to the longsnappers about not playing the preseason . Like it or not the best path to getting the season going is to limit contact as much as possible for as long as possible while they ramp up their testing and overall safety protocols to ensure a safe as possible , responsive environment for all of the players , coaches and staff . As we have seen the past months there’s no guarantees on anything virus related so even with all the money and effort being spent we still don’t know if there will be a season or not . As cold as it is that’s the reason the focus is on doing whatever they can to play so don’t think either the league or the players are worried about the impact the changes have on UDFAs or any other player currently not on a roster . That cold harsh reality is impacting plenty more as bad or in many cases worse the non- roster football players .

  23. Undrafted players are going to get a lot of playing time this year. A lot.
    Those XFL players looked like they loved playing football, unlike these millionaires, could be like that movie the replacements. Put in Shane Falco!

    It sounds like they’re going with the baseball model of whoever is positive gets quarantined 3 days and then cant return un two negatives 24 hours apart. You’re going to get a lot of undrafted players in there or xfl guys.

  24. On the other hand if this season is played you will see more guys get a shot at playing in regular season games than ever before due to positive tests and the resulting quarantines. Not saying that’s a good thing, it isn’t. It’s just reality if they’re going to try to play during a pandemic.

  25. Now getting into the NFL is a pure PR game. It puts even more emphasis on going to a big school that is on TV all the time. And honestly it takes a little magic out of the whole thing because the underachievers are inspiring.

  26. SHIPPENSBURG!!!!! My little school produced Kuhn and Brent Grimes. Loved watching them play in the NFL!

  27. Hopefully for them, they paid attention in their other classes ans not just coach talk. Because now is the time to make use of the scholarships they got because they can bounce, throw and catch a ball.

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