By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor
Major football news broke on November 22 when Fox Sports announced the return of the United States Football League (USFL) after a 37-year absence. Little was known about the league at the time of the announcement other than the teams that would make up the revived USFL. We now have more information, particularly the league “draft,” training camp dates, and an interesting caveat regarding league eligibility.
As first reported by Philly Stars Blog and confirmed by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, a memo was sent to all NFL Players Association contract advisors advising (ironically) that a “player selection meeting” will take place on February 22-23. In order to be eligible for the fancy titled draft, the player must sign with the league prior to that date. An interesting rule for the USFL is what age a player is eligible to be drafted into the league.
In a break from traditional football thinking, the USFL will allow any player to be eligible if they’ve graduated from high school in 2020 or earlier. In theory, a player can opt out of college after two years and join the league. This caveat is something to keep an eye on especially in the age of the NCAA transfer portal.
A few other notes, training camps will open on March 21 and the season will kick off in April with games on Fox Sports and NBC. Each team will have a 38-player active roster and a seven person practice squad. Players will be paid by the league and will be eligible to receive “win bonuses.”