It could be a “PR disaster”, to use Mike Florio’s words, if anyone were paying attention. Woe is any United Football League player who signed up with the fledgling league hoping it would serve as a taxi squad of sorts to the NFL — a somewhat reasonable expectation to those of us who’ve heard some NFL club or another is considering taking a look at J.P. Losman or Daunte Culpepper (before thinking better of it, of course). As Fanhouse’s Tom Torrisi explained yesterday, the UFL’s biz model isn’t entirely removed from that of Major League Soccer.
Commissioner Michael Huyghue’s insistence that any UFL player signed to an NFL active roster could be subject to a $150,000 transfer fee could cause a player revolt, multiple sources told AOL FanHouse on Thursday.
According to two sources who asked not to be identified, players may refuse to take the field this weekend and some may even fake injuries in order to get out of playing.
“It will kill the league,” said one person who has intimate knowledge of the situation but spoke on the condition of anonymity. “There could be a walkout or a player might just tell the coach he has (an injury) and can’t play.”
“The players are pissed,” said one source, who added that some players were meeting Thursday night and deciding whether to play this weekend.
Players are under contract in the UFL until Feb. 1. To the UFL’s credit, having them under contract until then, and not the end of the UFL season “ which ends Nov. 27 — makes it somewhat obvious that there was going to be restrictions/policy if they wanted to end their contracts and go to the NFL.
“Think about it, the contracts would be through Nov. 27 if there was never a plan to enforce a transfer fee,” a UFL source who wished not to be identified told FanHouse.
Additionally, the UFL has made it clear with their actions that they did not want to be known as a feeder league to the NFL