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Friday, 16 January 2015

NFL To Hold Veteran Free Agent Combine: Why This Is A Good Thing

We are all familiar with the NFL Combine, where college kids come to show-off for NFL coaches and scouts. It is a unique venue that gives these young players the opportunity to make that all-important first-impression on prospective employers.

And even though the endless drills get a little tedious to watch day after day, we gain a much greater appreciation for what these great athletes can do. It might actually be interesting to have that bird's-eye view, complete with pen and notepad, evaluating every move of the players "our" team might hope to integrate into the system.

But what of the seasoned veteran who finds himself out of football and unable to garner any real interest amongst the thousands of younger, talented (and hungry) college hopefuls?

I give you...

The NFL Veteran Free Agent Combine to be held in Arizona in March 2015. Yes. The first ever competition for veterans to recapture the eyes of the NFL world.

And why not? There certainly are many former players with enough gas in the tank to take another shot at the game they love. How often have we heard retired players longing for one last go-around... one last dance? Kurt Warner, Terrell Owens, Tony Gonzales... these are a few of the famous names that have been heard in tandem with a comeback to the field.

Many of these players have held private workouts, or spent time with current players to draw some attention.

Perhaps this combine could have saved Tim Tebow's career, or offered Owens the chance to return to the good graces of some NFL team. One thing is for sure, we will find out in short order just how many former players still have what it takes.

Tim Tebow is still young, but what of those aging stars like Warner or Randy Moss; do they still have the juice to do what they once did with the football? Give them a good dose of the same drills the young bucks face and that question will soon be answered.

We may not want to see Brett Favre come back, but I would love to see if Tedy Bruschi or Brian Urlacher can still thump with the big boys. I'm not saying that, suddenly, every former player could, or would want to, come back and play a full NFL season, or take the hits that make football our favorite contact sport.

But there is a lot of talent walking the streets that would most certainly fair better than not a few rookie busts we have seen. And when rookies fail to make the grade, there will be the veterans, ready and proven to take the field in their places.

Maybe it sounds like a long-shot, too good to be true, but I think this is a great move by the NFL and will go a long way and helping to level the playing field in more ways than one.


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