Wow for sure. This reads more like a public relations press conference beyond an interview with Johnston and his past role in the USFL 2.0 and in his new role for the UFL 4.0.
And as you cited, there it is and we have discussed this point in all these threads since 2022 on this forum as well.
So, you’ve got positions like offensive line and quarterback that aren’t playing enough football and seeing it at game speed. … So, we’ve got all these guys in football operations that have great connections into the NFL and can really start to introduce those opportunities and create conversations of really what are complete end-game is.
The choice guys for those positions in the NFL are certainly NOT going to be coming as much beyond the second round of the NFL draft, and the NFL no longer has any more interest in risking so many draft busts, which include those with all that campus attitude and baggage like Johnny Manziel.
To be fair to Manziel and many others, the blame lies also with ESPN there for blowing these guys up more in media coverage so as to also feed their young campus egos.
That process unfortunately starts in high school, which is why Disney / ESPN and the NCAA (see related developments as noted today in the NCAA thread given the big news) is a bigger problem for the NFL and a solid spring league is a partial step to help the NFL have more of these better-trained players.
Here’s a generally positive development for the rosters:
But the big thing for us this year is making sure we step away from this thing as strong as we can possibly be. One of the big numbers that’s different is we’re going to take 75 players to training camp. Last year, the USFL took 58. I think the XFL took 66. So, you’re talking about nine players more for the XFL, but for the USFL, it’s 17 players more. And then you take that out and multiply that by the number of teams, and we’re creating more opportunities for a bunch of guys to get into training camp. …
Once we get to the regular season, we’re going to kind of transition to what we once were. We’re going to have 50 active roster spots total, and 42 active roster spots on game day. The 42 is an uptick from the USFL’s 40 last year, and we’ll carry an emergency third quarterback as an inactive going into the games.
In aggregate right now, we are only talking about 400 guys each season in spring football in the UFL, plus others in the near mix, who are not playing in the CFL or otherwise in the US in some lower pro football league.
Of course only about 255 guys are drafted into the NFL each season, and they don’t all make teams with most drafted lower than the 4th round cut in camp, plus not counting punters, kickers, and long snappers, perhaps there are 20 free agents or CFL transfers making NFL teams amidst all the other free agents not playing one of those special teams positions.
And even as we’ve had conversations and meetings to talk about the merger process, you still had to prepare as individual leagues. We are getting very close. We have our last event where we have to function like two separate entities. The XFL will do their dispersal draft with their four teams that didn’t make the merger, and the USFL will do their dispersal draft with the four teams that did not make our merger, and then after that, we can put everything behind us and start to come together as one. We’re still closing the door on some small, few items, but at the end of the week, we’ll be able to move beyond that.
This commentary has to do with the names of the two divisions and various operations still being merged, and to me the road map looks in place to phase out the tired names of the old spring leagues and rightfully so. As described reminds me of what happened in the years after the AFL and NFL merger.
After a decade after that merger, the only people who cared about the AFL were the older and salty players and owners like Al Davis of the Raiders, who carried his beefs with the NFL to his grave. “Hey dude. Move on already. That was a long time ago.”
Only three seasons in modern sports is already a very long time. Think how long ago was that pandemic season in 2020, for example!