How Will The UFL Mess With Mark Dominik?

April 25th, 2011

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik likes to brag how picking up free agents is the “second draft” of the spring.

That’s a pretty good analogy because there were many players Dominik picked up that others passed on including LeGarette Blount offensive lineman Ted Larsen. Last season the Bucs had 24 undrafted free agents on their roster.

In a story published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, UFL coach Jerry Glanville stated over 10 percent of the starters in the NFL were undrafted free agents. Given the current lockout, once the draft is complete Saturday night, no team can sign any undrafted free agent.

That doesn’t mean the UFL can’t.

The NFL will draft 255 players next week. However, per lockout rules, teams will not be able to sign or contact undrafted players.

“What’s left over is 400 players who ordinarily would have gone to the NFL,” Glanville said. “Eleven percent of NFL starters are undrafted free agents. And I can’t tell you how long I’ve studied that 11 percent. We’re going to jump all over those kids.”

NFL teams build roster depth with rookie free agents. Many times, they strike gold, too. Texans running back Arian Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher last year, was a rookie free agent in 2009. Steelers linebacker James Harrison, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, was a rookie free agent in 2002. John Randle made it from rookie free agent with the Vikings in 1990 to Pro Football Hall of Famer in 2010.

Given the fact Dominik and his staff have shown an eagle eye for talent that is floating in limbo undrafted, the UFL very well may poach these players. If you are such a player and someone is dangling cash at you with a chance to prove your worth as a player, you’d be stupid to pass up the chance.

Which makes Joe wonder, how much will the UFL this season put Dominik in a pinch and, more to the point, how will the UFL hurt the Bucs?

8 Responses to “How Will The UFL Mess With Mark Dominik?”

  1. BigMacAttack Says:

    I don’t think it hurts the Bucs much. Last year for sure but not now. The Bucs don’t need 10 or 15 players. They need 3 or 4 and if they hit on 7 picks, that should fill out the final 53.

  2. Theodore Says:

    I say it makes Dominik’s job easier. He can scratch-off players ruined by playing under Jerry Glanville.

  3. Weneeddefense Says:

    Guys not drafted have a better opportunity just because they will be starting in the UFL.

    The UFL can operate as a practice squad on steroids. In fact, unsigned free agaents might want to take a serious look that way, for the right price. This would be the year for the UFL to gamble and go get some better players. They could generate revenue by creating their own UFL network.

  4. Joke Says:

    Could be worth trading a mid-round pick or two for multiple 7th rounders, and stock up on low draft/high free agent guys that way.

    Joe, have you heard anything about UFL transfer fees this year? Last year they were $150k, and no NFL teams signed anyone until the UFL dropped it to $25k in December.

    Dominik can always get these undrafted free agents if he’s willing to pay the transfer fee. I just wonder what the fee will be.

  5. BamBamBuc Says:

    Not worried about it. If we can’t get undrafted rookie free agents, we can still get drafted players cut by other teams that go on waivers, become free agents or that teams are intending to put on their practice squad. I believe guys like Ted Larsen, Al Woods, Doug Worthington, Larry Asante and Dezmon Briscoe were drafted, but cut to be placed on their teams practice squads. Guys from previous drafts were also available either from practice squads or waiver wire (or trade) like Alex Magee, Tyrone McKenzie, Frank Okam and Kregg Lumpkin.

    The guys that would be “lost” to teams are guys like Preston Parker, Brandon Carter, and LeGarrette Blount. Some of those guys would be drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds rather than left undrafted, others would end up in the UFL. Part of the “draft process” is evaluating talent each year so that when players are cut from teams you can pick them up and work them out, seeing what the draft has in store not only for this year, but future years as well (to be prepared and draft appropriately each year).

  6. gitarlvr Says:

    Are undrafted guys who have been told by NFL teams that they are interested in signing them, when they are able, going to risk those possible NFL futures by playing and risking injury in the UFL???? I somehow doubt that. It seems to me that the UFA’s who will get legitimate shots in the NFL will be told that by the teams interested in them and most of those players will not jeopardize that for the comparatively paltry UFL paycheck in the interim.

  7. gitarlvr Says:

    Also as someone pointed out earlier, the transfer fee, is a bar to teams wanting to sign away UFL players. If any NFL team told me they would or even just might sign me if I wasn’t drafted there is absolutely no way I would put that transfer fee in the way of myself and a possible NFL career. The UFL will always be there for those if the NFL doesn’t work out. Sorry Jerry Glanville but I think you are still just going to mostly be picking from the scrubs whom NFL teams aren’t that interested in.

  8. RastaMon Says:

    “a bird in the hand”….