In Chris Lesley’s Sept 24-31 Wash Up column, he mentioned that Jacksonville, Florida based sports agent Michael Huyghue has handed back his NFLPA agent license in order to head up a new football league: the United Football League (UFL). In fact, Huyghue seems to be leaving it all behind with the hope that the UFL turns out to be nothing like the USFL, XFL, or NFL Europe.
The UFL aims to begin fielding games in August 2008 with Huyghue as the commish [Huyghue is in a new huddle]. Why might the league end up working out? For one, the aforementioned NFL Europe league has recently folded, leaving many football players looking for a job. But there are also some other good reasons to start looking at the UFL as a league to place your clients that are unable to make an NFL roster.
- Teams will be stationed in large market cities (Las Vegas and Los Angeles are 2 cities under consideration).
- College players may still be drafted by an NFL team after being selected to play in the UFL.
- The playoffs will end before the winter holidays, allowing your clients to be with their families.
- Teams will be bound by a salary cap of roughly $20 million
Why is #4 a selling point? The NFL allows a $109 million cap. The answer is that you do not want your clients to join a league that will not be fiscally responsible and fold within a year. Huyghue and company believe that the league will have longevity and want to encourage owners to buy into it. Plus, the top 10 players on each team will make around $1 million per year. With the option of playing on an NFL team’s practice squad or making $1 million per year while getting exposure, I think I know what my choice would be.
The season is scheduled to kick off in less than a year. This is definitely something to keep your eye on if you anticipate having football clients that are not signed onto an NFL roster.