The Spring League Kicks Off its Fall Version Today
Fox Sports One will televise 7 games from Oct. 27 thru Nov. 18
October 27, 2020; San Antonio, Texas – The Spring League (TSL) will play a 5-week season with weekly games between the 6-team league scheduled to be played at the Alamodome culminating in the TSL’s 1st Championship Game scheduled for around Dec. 1st. Like their last minicamp/scrimmage held in Denver in July, which was successful in not having any Covid outbreaks, The Spring League plans to practice and play “in a bubble” in San Antonio over the next five weeks. Aimed at professional athletes but not paying a salary or expenses, The Spring League has been around with its minicamp/scrimmage versions since 2017. The league’s goal is to “serve as an instructional league and showcase for professional football talent,” and this will be the league’s first attempt at a multiple-team/multible-game season that will be televised. All of the six TSL teams have rosters containing at least 34 players.
Four ProCanes are listed on TSL rosters: DE/LB David Gilbert (Aviators #92), DB Jhavonte Dean (Blues #29), DL Chigozie Nnoruka (Conquerors #99) and LS Paul Kelly (Generals #59). Gilbert, who came to Miami as a grad transfer from Wisconsin, was the only ProCane who participated in The Spring League’s Minicamp in Denver in July. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tennessee Titans back in 2014, Gilbert (6’4″ 262) was cut in camp by the Titans, but then played from 2015-18 in various arena leagues. A JUCO transfer to Miami, Dean (6’2″ 185) went undrafted in 2019 but nevertheless spent time in camp with the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, before landing on the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders PS on Sept. 23. Although he spent the remainder of the 2019 season on the Roughriders PS, Dean wasn’t resigned. Signed next by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Dean was waived by Winnipeg on Sept. 4, 2020 after the CFL cancelled its season. A grad transfer to Miami from UCLA who had earlier played at a JUCO, the 22-year-old Nnoruka (6’2″ 301) went undrafted in 2020. With JUCO experience at DL/OG as well as BCS experience at DT/DE, Nnoruka apparently has had no NFL or CFL tryouts so far in 2020. Kelly (6’1″ 262) is believed to be the first Hurricane who played exclusively at long-snapper to turn pro when he participated in the AAF preseason with the Orlando Apollos in 2019. Also in the XFL Draft Pool in 2020 where he went unselected, Kelly came to Miami as a DL transfer from John Carroll University in Ohio, then played extensively at the U as a walk-on LS in 2012-13, before becoming a grad transfer to Nebraska when the Cornhuskers offered him a scholarship to play LS in his final college season of 2014. Setting aside old-school ProCane centers like Jim Otto, Mike Hudock or John Matlock or more recent backup-OL/LS’s like UM Class of 2003’s Joe Fantigrassi who played in the AFL, the premier professional LS ever produced by the Hurricanes was undoubtedly the Class of 1979’s Steve Alvers (6’2″ 240) who was taken in the 7th round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but primarily as a tight end. TE/LS Alvers spent three seasons in the NFL with the Giants and Buffalo Bills.
In the 2017 version of The Spring League, DL Calvin Heurtelou and TE Beau Sandland were rewarded for their participation in TSL by going to NFL minicamps with the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals, respectively, although neither actually made the team. In 2018, TE Chase Ford went to TSL’s spring session, but received no offers post-participation. In 2019, QB Kevin Olsen played in the TSL, but he never received any offers either. Of note, RB/FB Trayone “Choc” Gray (Toronto Argonauts) and QB Vincent Testaverde Jr. (British Columbia Lions), who were Class of 2019 undrafted free agents like Jhavonte Dean, still remain on official CFL team rosters, having not yet been waived in 2020, and who may return for the 2021 CFL Season with their respective teams.
UPDATE: Due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the San Antonio bubble being used by TSL teams, the 2020 fall regular season was concluded prematurely on Nov. 17 according to a league announcement. With a tentative Dec. 2nd scheduled date for the TSL championship game, it seems highly unlikely with COVID cases on the rise across the country that a title game will be played.
MIAMI HURRICANES CURRENTLY IN THE NFL
Updated as of Nov. 27, 2020. Years as a pro includes 2020. Years attending the U in parentheses.
## Matt Bosher 10 (2007-10), P (2019 with Atlanta: 3 games- 9 punts, career-low 41.9 yds.; mostly on IR [Groin]) Not re-signed; Tryout with Arizona on Aug. 31
5 Matt Bosher 10 (2007-10), P (2019: 3 games- 9 punts, career-low 41.9 yds.; mostly on IR [Groin]) Not re-signed; Currently a Free Agent
93 Allen Bailey 10 (2007-10), DE (2019: 24 tackles, 1 sack in 15 games in 1st season in Atlanta)
35 Jamal Carter 4 (2013-16), S/LB (’19: 10 tackles, 1 pass/def in 11 games with Falcons) Placed on Covid-19/Reserve List July 30; Activated Aug. 18; Cut Sept. 5; Re-signed to PS Sept. 6; Promoted from PS Oct. 5; Cut by Falcons Oct. 7
35 Gus Edwards 3 (2007-10);(2013-2016), RB (2019: Played in all 16 games for Baltimore, 133 rushes for 711 yards & 2 TDs; 7 catches/45 yds.)
96 Ufomba Kamalu 5 (2013-15), DE (2019: 3 weeks on Ravens roster, no stats; most of season on Ravens & Pats PS’s) Released by Baltimore Apr. 9, 2020; arrested on Domestic-related charges next day; Currently a Free Agent
93 Calais Campbell 13 (2005-07), DE (Pro Bowl, 6.5 sacks, 55 tackles, 1 pass def.) Mar. 19, 2020: Jags traded him to Baltimore for 5th-round pick Placed on Covid-19 List Nov. 24
76 Jon Feliciano 6 (2011-14), OG (2019: played in all 16 games in his 1st season with Bills) Coming off pectoral surgery, will miss 8-12 weeks; Placed on IR by Bills Sept. 6; Designated for return from IR Oct. 7; Activated off IR Oct. 27
46 Jaquan Johnson 2 (2015-18), S (2019: Played in 13 games with 7 tackles made)
## Matt Bosher 10 (2007-10), P (2019 with Atlanta: 3 games- 9 punts, career-low 41.9 yds.; mostly on IR [Groin]) Tryout with Bills Aug. 18
## Lamar Miller 9 (2010-11), RB (’19: Injured knee in preseason; Placed on IR [Torn ACL] Aug. 26; Not re-signed by Texans) Signed Aug. 8, placed on PUP Aug. 13; Activated from PUP Sept. 1; Cut by Pats Sept. 5; Tryout with Bills Sept. 7
## Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31; Tryouts with Steelers, Raiders & Packers in ’20; Signed to Giants PS Sept. 22; Rel’d from N.Y. PS Sept. 24; Tryout with Bills Oct. 23
29 Corn Elder 4 (2013-16), CB (2019: Cut in camp by Carolina, then on Giants PS; re-signed by Panthers Nov. 12, 1 game- no stats)
16 Pat O’Donnell 7 (2013), P (Starter, averaged 44.8 yards on 80 punts)
26 Deon Bush 5 (2012-15), S (played in 15 games, 8 tackles, and 2 pass/def.)
80 Jimmy Graham 11 (Bball, 2005-09; Fball 2009), TE (2019: 16 games with Green Bay- 38 catches-447 yards & 3 TDs)
25 Artie Burns 5 (2012-15), CB (2019 with Pittsburgh Steelers: played in 10 games with 8 tackles) Torn his ACL on Aug. 18, out for the season; Placed on IR Aug. 20
25 Lamar Miller 9 (2010-11), RB (’19: Injured knee in preseason; Placed on IR [Torn ACL] Aug. 26; Not re-signed by Texans) Signed by Pats Aug. 8; Cut by Pats Sept. 5; Tryouts with Bills (Sept. 7) & Colts (Sept. 14); Signed to Bears PS Oct. 3
35 Trajan Bandy R (2017-19), CB (Undrafted Free Agent) Cut by Steelers Sept. 5; Re-signed to Pittsburgh PS Sept. 6; Rel’d from Steelers PS Sept. 25; Signed to Bengals PS Nov. 18
54 Olivier Vernon 9 (2009-11), OLB (2019: 10 games, 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble in 1st year with Browns)
85 David Njoku 4 (2015-16), TE (2019: IR [concussion/broken wrist], Activated from IR Dec. 7th; played in 4 games with 5 rec./41 yds., 1 TD) Injured (knee) in opener; Placed on IR Sept. 14 (New this year, players on IR only have to miss three weeks); Activated from IR Oct. 10
92 Chad Thomas 3 (2014-17), DE (2019: Played in 16 games, 26 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 pass/def., 1 fumble rec.) Cut by Browns Sept. 5
29 Sheldrick Redwine 2 (2015-18), S (2019: 12 games, 5 starts, 41 tackles, 2 pass/def.)
48 Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31
91 Joe Jackson 2 (2016-18), DE (2019: 4 tackles, 1 pass/def. in 5 games played with Dallas) Released by Dallas Sept. 5; Signed by Browns Sept. 7
56 Joe Jackson 2 (2016-18), DE (2019: 4 tackles, 1 pass/def. in 5 games played with Dallas) Released by Dallas Sept. 5
41 Ray-Ray Armstrong 8 (2009-11), LB (2019: Cut by Browns in Camp, 2 Tryouts w/ Redskins, Signed with Saints Sept. 18, but Rel’d Oct. 22 without playing; Signed with Dallas Dec. 24- 6 games, 1 tackle) Not re-signed by Cowboys
## Erik Swoope 7 (basketball 2010-14), TE (Waived by Oakland Raiders on July 30, 2019; previously played with Colts, also briefly with Saints) Signed by 49ers Aug. 25; Waived by 49ers Aug. 29; Tryout with Dallas Sept. 16
91 Anthony Chickillo 6 (2011-14), DE (2019: 11 games, 19 tackles, 1/2 sack; also on CEL [domestic disturbance] re-activated after charges dropped) Rel’d by Steelers Mar. 6, 2020; Signed by Saints; Rel’d by Saints Sept. 5; Re-signed to PS Sept. 6; Poached off PS by Denver Sept. 17
28 Michael Jackson Sr. 2 (2015-18), CB (Drafted by Dallas, Rel’d. in Camp; Re-signed to PS Sept. 1st; Signed off Dallas PS by Detroit Oct. 30th) Traded by Lions to New England Aug. 9
Green Bay Packers
53 Jonathan Garvin R (2017-19), DE (Drafted 7th Rd/242 overall)
97 Gerald Willis III 2 (2015-18), DT (2019: Undrafted FA Rel’d by Ravens on Aug. 31, Miami’s PS then 2 games active with Dolphins-no stats-then on IR) Waived by Miami Apr. 21, 2020 & Claimed by Packers; Waived by Packers July 27
## Dee Delaney 3 (2017), CB (’19: Dolphins & Jets Camps; Chiefs & Browns Tryouts; Signed by Redskins Dec. 24- DNP) Rel’d. by Washington on Mar. 23, 2020; Tryout with Packers Aug. 27
## Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31; Tryout with Packers Sept. 5
25 Duke Johnson 6 (2012-14), RB (2019: 16 games; 83 carries/410 yds., 2 TDs; 44 rec./410 yds., 3 TDs + 3 tackles in 1st season in Houston)
26 Lamar Miller 9 (2010-11), RB (’19: Injured knee in preseason; Placed on IR [Torn ACL] Aug. 26) Not re-signed by Texans
## Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31; Tryouts with Steelers, Raiders & Packers in ’20; Signed to Giants PS Sept. 22; Rel’d from N.Y. PS Sept. 24; Tryouts with Bills (Oct. 23), Washington (Oct. 27) & Texans (Nov. 6)
97 Al-Quadin Muhammad 4 (2013-15), DL (2019: played in all 16 games for Colts, 24 tackles & 1 sack, 1 forced fumble)
## Lamar Miller 9 (2010-11), RB (’19: Injured knee in preseason; Placed on IR [Torn ACL] Aug. 26; Not re-signed by Texans) Signed Aug. 8, placed on PUP Aug. 13; Activated from PUP Sept. 1; Cut by Pats Sept. 5; Tryout with Bills Sept. 7; Tryout with Colts Sept. 14
65 Brandon Linder 7 (2010-13), C/G (Started all 16 games, also had 1 tackle)
62 KC McDermott 3 (2014-17), OL (Jaguars’ PS in ‘18; Jacksonville’s IR in ’19) Cut by Jags Sept. 4; Re-signed to PS Sept. 6; Promoted from PS Sept. 24; Demoted back to PS Sept. 25; Promoted again from PS Oct. 3; Placed on PS’s COVID-19 list Oct. 16; Activated to PS from Covid-19 list Nov. 4
61 Tyler Gauthier 2 (2015-18), OL (2019: Undrafted FA made Patriots PS; Signed by Jaguars off Pats’ PS Dec. 10th, DNP) Cut by Jags Aug. 8
50 Shaquille Quarterman R (2016-19), LB (Drafted 4th Rd./140th overall) Placed on IR (knee) Nov. 7; Activated from IR Nov. 25
Kansas City Chiefs
30 Adrian Colbert 4 (2016), DB (2019: 49ers Camp; Seattle’s PS, twice on Seahawks roster, DNP; last 6 games in Miami, 20 tackles, 2 pass/def.) Released by Dolphins Aug. 15; Signed with Chiefs Aug. 21 after tryout; Waived by Chiefs Sept. 5
65 Danny Isidora 4 (2012-16), OG (2019: 3 games, 1 tackle after pre-season acquisition from Vikings for 7th round pick) Cut by Dolphins Sept. 4; Tryout with Chiefs Sept. 7; Signed to PS Sept. 8; Activated from PS Oct. 24; Returned to PS Nov. 1
Las Vegas Raiders
93 Olsen Pierre 5 (2011-14), DL (2019: Played 9 games for Raiders, had 7 tackles & 2 sacks) Not re-signed by Las Vegas; Currently a Free Agent
## Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31; Tryout with Raiders Sept. 1
## Ray-Ray Armstrong 8 (2009-11), LB (2019: Cut by Browns in Camp, 2 Tryouts w/ Redskins, Signed with Saints Sept. 18, but Rel’d Oct. 22 without playing; Signed with Dallas Dec. 24- 6 games, 1 tackle) Not re-signed by Cowboys; Tryout with Raiders Sept. 1
Los Angeles Chargers
52 Denzel Perryman 6 (2011-14), LB (2019: 14 games, 64 tackles, 1 pass def., 1 INT, 1 Forced Fumble)
23 Rayshawn Jenkins 4 (2012-16), S (’19: played in 16 games with 52 tackles, 3 INT, 4 Pass/def.)
4 Michael Badgley 3 (2014-17), K (’19: 1st 8 games on IR [groin], in other 8 games was 13/16 on FGs, 19/19 on PATs)
70 Tyree St. Louis 2 (2015-18), OL (Undrafted FA was on Patriots, Colts and then Chargers PS’s in 2019)
47 Romeo Finley R (2016-19), LB (Undrafted Free Agent) Released by Chargers Sept. 5
Los Angeles Rams
87 Clive Walford 6 (2011-14), TE (2019: 4 catches in 7 games with Dolphins) Not re-signed by Miami Dolphins; Currently a Free Agent
75 Kendrick Norton 2 (2015-17), DT (During Dolphins’ Camp in 2019, left arm amputated in car crash) Waived by Miami March 18, 2020; Retired
17 Allen Hurns 7 (2011-13), WR (’19: 14 games, 32 rec./416 yds., 2 TDs + 2 solo tackles with Dolphins) Opted out of 2020 season Aug. 4
65 Danny Isidora 4 (2012-16), OG (2019: 3 games, 1 tackle after pre-season acquisition from Vikings for 7th round pick) Cut by Dolphins Sept. 4
97 Trent Harris 2 (2014-17), DE/LB (2019 Pats Camp; Claimed off waivers by Miami- 11 games, 20 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble) Cut July 26; Re-signed Aug. 25; Cut again on Sept. 5
36 Adrian Colbert 4 (2016), DB (2019: 49ers Camp; Seattle’s PS, Seahawks roster, DNP; 6 games in Miami, 20 tackles, 2 pass/def.) Rel’d Aug. 15
75 Ereck Flowers 6 (2012-14), OT (2019 in Washington: Started all 16 games with ‘Skins) Placed on Covid-19/Reserve list Aug. 2; Activated Aug. 15
## Jeff Thomas R (2017-19), WR (Undrafted Free Agent) Waived by Patriots Sept. 5; Reported to be picked up by Dolphins after Tryout, but it appears he DNS
74 Tyler Gauthier 2 (2015-18), OL (2019: Undrafted FA made Patriots PS; Signed by Jaguars off New England’s PS Dec. 10th, DNP) Cut by Jags Aug. 8; Signed by Pats Aug. 12; Cut by Pats Sept. 5; Signed to Dolphins PS after Tryout Sept. 16
17 K.J. Osborn R (2019), WR (Drafted 5th Rd./176th overall)
## Austin Barnard 3 (2013), Punter/Kicker (Titans IR in ’18, Tennessee Camp in ’19; Tryout with Lions in ’19) Tryout with Vikings on Nov. 18
New England Patriots
75 Jeff Thomas R (2017-19), WR (Undrafted Free Agent) Released by Patriots Sept. 5
## Trevon Hill R (2019), DE (Undrafted Free Agent) Apr. 26: Reported to be picked up by Pats, but on May 6, he wasn’t on their UFA list
35 Lamar Miller 9 (2010-11), RB (’19: Injured knee in preseason; Placed on IR [Torn ACL] Aug. 26; Not re-signed by Texans) Signed Aug. 8, placed on PUP Aug. 13; Activated from PUP Sept. 1; Cut by Pats Sept. 5
67 Tyler Gauthier 2 (2015-18), OL (2019: Undrafted FA made Patriots PS; Signed by Jaguars off New England’s PS Dec. 10th, DNP) Cut by Jags Aug. 8; Signed by Pats Aug. 12; Cut by Pats Sept. 5
41 Michael Jackson Sr. 2 (2015-18), CB (Drafted by Dallas, Rel’d. in Camp; Re-signed to PS Sept. 1st; Signed off Dallas PS by Detroit Oct. 30th) Traded by Lions to New England Aug. 9; Cut by Patriots Sept. 3; Re-signed to Pats PS Sept. 28
## Justin Vogel 4 (2014-16), P (Cut in Camp by San Francisco 49ers & by Denver Broncos in 2019; played in XFL in ’20) Tryout with Pats Sept. 1
48 Michael Pinckney R (2016-19), LB (Undrafted Free Agent) Signed to Patriots PS Oct. 2; Suspended by NFL (undisclosed violation) for 6 games on Nov. 27
New Orleans Saints
58 Anthony Chickillo 6 (2011-14), DE (2019: 11 games, 19 tackles, 1/2 sack; also on CEL [domestic disturbance] re-activated after charges dropped) Rel’d by Pittsburgh on Mar. 6, 2020; Signed by Saints; Released by Saints Sept. 5; Re-signed to PS Sept. 6
New York Giants
90 RJ McIntosh 3 (2015-17), DT (2019: Played in 12 games with Giants, had 5 tackles & 2 sacks)
34 Adrian Colbert 4 (2016), DB (2019: 49ers Camp; Seattle’s PS, twice on Seahawks roster, DNP; last 6 games in Miami, 20 tackles, 2 pass/def.) Rel’d by Dolphins Aug. 15; Signed with Chiefs Aug. 21; Waived by Chiefs Sept. 5; Claimed by N.Y. Sept. 6; Placed on IR (shoulder) Nov. 4
## Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31; Tryouts with Steelers, Raiders & Packers in ’20; Signed to Giants PS Sept. 22; Rel’d from N.Y. PS Sept. 24
93 Trent Harris 2 (2014-17), DE/LB (2019 Pats Camp; Claimed by Miami- 11 games, 20 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble) Cut July 26; Re-signed Aug. 25; Cut again Sept. 5; Signed to Giants PS Oct. 14; Activated from PS Oct. 18; Returned to PS Oct. 25; Activated again from PS Oct. 28
New York Jets
89 Christopher Herndon 3 (2014-17), TE (After 4-game suspension had season-ending injury [broken rib] in season debut, only 1 catch in ’19)
10 Braxton Barrios 3 (2014-17), WR (’19: 16 games- 21 PRs/240 yds., 6 rec./115 yds., 4 KRs/48 yds., 2 tackles)
25 Frank Gore 16 (2001-04), RB (’19 with Bills: Played in all 16 games, 166 rushes/599 yds., 2 TDs, 13 Rec./100 yds., 0 fumbles)
1 Lawrence Cager R (2015-18), WR (Undrafted Free Agent) Waived by Jets on Sept. 5; Re-signed to Jets PS Sept. 6; Promoted from PS Sept. 26; Placed on PS’s IR Oct. 8; Removed from IR Oct. 28 (still on PS)
38 Trajan Bandy R (2017-19), CB (Undrafted Free Agent) Cut by Steelers Sept. 5; Re-signed to Pittsburgh PS Sept. 6; Rel’d from PS Sept. 25
## Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31; Had Tryout with Steelers Aug. 17
San Francisco 49ers
17 Travis Benjamin 9 (2008-11), WR (’19 with Chargers: In 5 games had 6 rec./30 yds. & 1 solo tackle; Placed on IR [quad] Oct. 17th) Opted out of 2020 season Aug. 5
47 Erik Swoope 7 (basketball 2010-14), TE (Waived by Oakland Raiders on July 30, 2019; previously played with Colts, also briefly with Saints) Signed by 49ers Aug. 25; Waived by 49ers Aug. 29
25 Travis Homer 2 (2016-18), RB (’19: 16 games- 18 rushes/114 yds., 11 rec./56 yds., 5 KRs/109 yds., 3 solo tackles, 1 fumble recovered)
88 Greg Olsen 14 (2004-06), TE (’19 with Carolina: 14 games- 52 catches/597 yards, 2 TDs) Placed on IR (plantar fascia) Nov. 22
11 Phillip Dorsett 6 (2011-14), WR (’19 with Patriots: 14 games- 29 rec./290 yds., 5 TDs, 3 rushes/21 yards) Placed on IR (foot) Sept. 22 (New this year, players on IR only have to miss three weeks)
31 DeeJay Dallas R (2017-19), RB (Drafted 4th Rd./144th overall)
52 Ray-Ray Armstrong 8 (2009-11), LB (2019: Cut by Browns in Camp, 2 Tryouts w/ Redskins, Signed by Saints-DNP; Signed by Dallas- 6 games, 1 tackle; Not re-signed) Tryout with Raiders Sept. 1; Signed to Seahawks PS on Oct. 21 after Oct. 6 Tryout; Activated by Seattle from PS Oct. 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington Football Team (née Redskins)
41 Dee Delaney 3 (2017), CB (’19: Dolphins & Jets Camps; Chiefs & Browns Tryouts; Signed by Redskins Dec. 24- DNP) Rel’d. by Washington on Mar. 23, 2020; Currently a Free Agent
## Jermaine Grace 4 (2013-15), LB (2019: 12 games played with Browns, 6 tackles) Cut by Browns July 31; Tryouts with Steelers, Raiders & Packers in ’20; Signed to Giants PS Sept. 22; Rel’d from N.Y. PS Sept. 24; Tryout with Bills Oct. 23; Tryout with Washington Oct. 27
Additional NFL/CFL Free Agents:
## Seantrel Henderson 6 (2010-13), OT (1 start with Texans in ’19, then IR [broken ankle]; Placed on NFI [No details given] Oct. 16; Waived by Texans off NFI Nov. 18th; later Tryouts with Seattle and Colts)
## Malcolm Bunche 6 (2010-13), OL (’19: Camp with Giants; Redskins PS for 4 days in Oct.; also played in AAF in ’19 & XFL in ’20)
## Mark Walton 3 (2015-17), RB (’19: 7 games- 53 carries/201 yds., 15 rec./89 yds.; Cut by Dolphins [Felony Assault/pregnant girlfriend] Oct. 19)
## Herb Waters 5 (2012-15), CB (2019 Camp with Steelers, Tryout with Seattle, then played in XFL in Spring, 2020)
## Thurston Armbrister 6 (2011-14), LB (Cut in Camp by Arizona in 2019; then played in XFL in ’20)
## Anthony Moten 3 (2014-17), DT (Played in AAF in spring, 2019; Played in XFL in spring, 2020)
## Gionni Paul 5 (2011-12), LB (played in 2019 AAF spring season, then Played in XFL in ’20)
## Venzell Boulware 2 (2018), OL (Undrafted FA was a Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp Tryout; later Played in XFL)
## Marquez Williams 3 (2016), FB (Played in AAF & AFL in 2019, XFL in 2020)
## Stacy Coley 4 (2013-16), WR (Cut in Camp by Jets in 2019; also in Camp with 2 teams in XFL in 2020)
## Ladarius Gunter 6 (2013-14), CB (Played in AAF spring season in 2019, but was Cut in XFL Camp in 2020)
## Tyre Brady 2 (2014-15), WR (Undrafted FA, Cut by Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 31, 2019; Denver Broncos Tryout on Dec. 4th)
## Juwon Young 2 (2014-15), LB (Undrafted FA had Seattle Seahawks Minicamp Tryout then signed by Detroit Lions, was in Lions Camp in 2019)
## Tito Odenigbo 2 (2018), DT (Undrafted FA, Released in Camp by Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 31, 2019)
## Jerome Washington 2 (2015), TE (Undrafted FA, Cut in Camp by Arizona Cardinals in 2019)
## Storm Johnson 7 (2010), RB (participated in AAF preseason in ’19; XFL Draft Pool in ’20)
## Trevor Darling 3 (2014-17), OL (2019: Played in AAF spring season)
## Mike Smith 1 (2014-18), LB (Undrafted FA in 2019 had Rookie Minicamp Tryouts with Miami Dolphins & Buffalo Bills)
## Jahair Jones 1 (2017-18), OL (Undrafted FA, Rookie Minicamp Tryout with Arizona Cardinals in ’19; XFL Draft Pool in ’20)
More NFL Cuts in 2019:
## Sam Shields 9 (2006-09), CB (Not re-signed by Los Angeles Rams, declared FA but went unsigned in ’19) [Has History of Concussions]
## Brad Kaaya 4 (2014-16), QB (Cut in Camp by Cincy in 2019; released by Colts earlier in ’19) [Has back injury issues; Sold his 1st Screenplay in Apr., 2020]
Here’s a rundown of more ProCanes playing in some other leagues.
The Spring League-2020 Fall Season (San Antonio, TX. Bubble; Oct. 27-Dec. 1; 6 teams/4 games each + Championship):
92 David Gilbert 5 (2013), DE/LB (played with the IFL’s Salt Lake Screaming Eagles and NAL’s Columbus Lions in 2017, DNP in 2018-19) 2020: Participated in The Spring League’s Minicamp in Denver in July
29 Jhavonte Dean 2 (2017-18), CB (2019: Undrafted FA in Browns & Steelers Camps; Signed to Roughriders PS Sept. 23) 2020: Signed by Winnipeg; Waived by Winnipeg Sept. 4, 2020
99 Chigozie Nnoruka R (2019), DT (Undrafted Free Agent)
59 Paul Kelly 2 (2012-13), LS (participated in AAF preseason in 2019; also in XFL Draft Pool in ’20)
Canadian Football League: (2020 Season cancelled due to Covid-19 on Aug. 17, 2020)
British Columbia Lions
61 Joel Figueroa 9 (2006-11), OL (2019: Played in 16 games with B.C.)
## Vincent Testaverde Jr. 2 (2015-16), QB (2019: Undrafted FA in Camps with Buccaneers & Tampa Bay Vipers XFL) 2020: Signed as FA by B.C.
Edmonton Football Team (née Eskimos)
58 Justin Renfrow 7 (2013), OL (2019: B.C. Lions via trade from Calgary Stampeders on July 28) Not re-signed by Lions, Signed as FA by Edmonton
35 Trayone Gray 2 (2014-18), RB (2019: Undrafted FA Rel’d by Cleveland Browns on Aug. 31st) 2020: Signed by Toronto as FA
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
## Jhavonte Dean 2 (2017-18), CB (2019: Undrafted FA in Browns & Steelers Camps; Signed to Roughriders PS Sept. 23) 2020: Signed by Winnipeg; Waived by Winnipeg Sept. 4
The Spring League (Minicamp & Organized Scrimmage, July 14th-17th, 2020; Denver, CO. Bubble):
## David Gilbert 5 (2013), DE/LB (played with the IFL’s Salt Lake Screaming Eagles and NAL’s Columbus Lions in 2017, but failed to report to Columbus in ’18 and DNP in 2019)
National Arena League: (2020 Season cancelled due to Covid-19)
West Virginia Roughriders
## George Brown Jr. R (2016-18), DL (Undrafted Free Agent)
Champions Indoor Football: (2020 Preseason Training Camp only, Regular season cancelled due to Covid-19)
1 Kayne Farquharson 9 (2007-08), WR (2019: Active with Omaha Beef)
Indoor Football League: (After playing for two weeks, the remainder of the 2020 Season was cancelled due to Covid-19)
Green Bay Blizzard
## Diego Marquez 2 (2016-17), K (2019: Nebraska Danger IFL, previously with IFL’s Tucson Sugar Skulls in ’19)
(American) National Gridiron League (Inaugural 2019 season was postponed by league; postponed again in 2020):
Virginia Beach Destroyers
## Standish Dobard 3 (2013-16), TE (2019-20 NGL Camps Only; Participated in AAF Preseason in ‘19)
Arena League Free Agents:
## Kendal Thompkins 8 (2008-12), WR (Washington Valor AFL in 2019)
## Brandon Washington 9 (2009-11), OL (’19: Mass. Pirates NAL; ’20 XFL Draft Pool) Hired in Jan. as Off. Line Coach at Florida Memorial Univ.
## Micanor Regis 6 (2008-11), DT (Atlantic City Blackjacks AFL in 2019; in XFL Draft Pool in 2020)
## Tyriq McCord 5 (2012-15), DL (’19: Atlantic City Blackjacks AFL & Orlando Predators NAL; also played in AAF in 2019)
## Courtel Jenkins 3 (2014-16), DT (Nebraska Danger IFL in 2019; in XFL Draft Pool in 2020)
## Joseph Yearby 3 (2014-16), RB (’19: St. Louis Stampede NGL Camp only; also participated in AAF preseason in ‘19; XFL Draft Pool in ’20)
## D’Mauri Jones 3 (2012-16), WR (Washington Valor AFL in 2019)
## DeQuan Ivery 3 (2011), DT (Philadelphia Soul AFL and Omaha Beef CIF in 2019)
NFL concussion awards discriminate against Blacks, lawyers say
“Black former players have been automatically assumed, through a statistical manipulation called ‘race-norming,’ to have started with worse cognitive functioning than White former players,” the lawyers wrote.
By The Associated Press, Aug. 26, 2020
PHILADELPHIA — Dementia tests in the NFL concussion litigation allow doctors to use different baseline standards for Black and white retired players, making it more difficult for Blacks to show injury and qualify for awards, lawyers for two ex-players argued in court filings Tuesday.
The settlement fund has so far paid about $720 million to retired players for neurocognitive problems linked to NFL concussions, including more than $300 million for dementia. The dementia claims have proven especially contentious — three-quarters of them have been denied, often after challenges from the NFL.
Lawyers for ex-players Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport said their clients were denied awards “based on a discriminatory testing regime” that weighs demographic factors including race. Both men would have qualified for awards had race not been considered, they said.
“Black former players have been automatically assumed, through a statistical manipulation called ‘race-norming,’ to have started with worse cognitive functioning than White former players,” the lawyers wrote.
That makes it harder to show they’ve suffered a deficit and deserve compensation, they said.
“The use of a deliberate, explicit, racial classification — with Black and white former players automatically subjected to different standards — is a blatant violation of the law,” lawyer Cy Smith wrote in the motion, which seeks to make the tests race-neutral.
In a statement, league spokesman Brian McCarthy called the lawsuit “entirely misguided.”
“The settlement program … was the result of arm’s-length, comprehensive negotiations between the NFL and Class Counsel, was approved by the federal courts after a searching review of its fairness, and always contemplated the use of recognized statistical techniques to account for demographic differences such as age, education and race,” the statement said.
McCarthy added: “The NFL continues to be fully committed to paying all legitimate claims and providing the important benefits that our retired players and their families deserve.”
Christopher Seeger, the lead players’ lawyer in the litigation, said he “has not seen any evidence of racial bias in the settlement program,” but pledged to review the issue.
Seeger said the testing was designed by leading experts and approved by the presiding judge in the case, Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody of Philadelphia. And he said it’s up to the evaluating physician to decide whether to include race as a factor.
Henry, 51, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1993-2000, said his claim was denied although he suffers from headaches, depression and memory loss that leave him unable to hold a job.
University of Miami (Fla.) product Davenport, 41, who played for the Steelers, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts from 2002-2008, said he suffered more than 10 concussions, including one that broke his eye socket and left him unconscious. He was approved for an award until the NFL appealed, asking that his test results be recalculated using racial norms, Smith said. By that measurement, his claim would fail.
The special master in the case has so far rejected the NFL’s appeal, but asked that Davenport’s doctor justify his findings.
The motion, along with a second potential class-action filing, asks Brody to bar race as a factor in the calculations, and let any Blacks tested in such a manner have their scores recalculated if their dementia claims were denied. The settlement pays up to $3 million for a moderate dementia finding, although the average dementia award, including both early and moderate dementia, is just under $600,000.
“The NFL has a choice to make, and the choice is between treating the lives of its Black players like they matter, or continuing with the current course,” Smith told The Associated Press.
The settlement, expected to cost the NFL more than $1 billion, spared the league a trial over claims that it long hid what it knew about the link between concussions and brain injuries. The settlement fund is designed to cover more than 20,000 retirees suffering from brain disorders that include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
A website run by the claims administrator does not break down information on awards by race. Smith believes that racial disparities would be evident if it did.
The filing Tuesday comes as the NFL prepares for its Sept. 10 season opener. The league, which was in the middle of its offseason when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, still plans to play a full schedule, though many games will take place in empty stadiums.
Lawmakers Ask N.F.L. About Race Norms Used in Concussion Settlement
Members of Congress questioned whether the racial benchmarks used to settle dementia claims were consistent with discriminatory economic practices like redlining.
By Ken Belson, New York Times, Sept. 2, 2020
Last week, two Black former N.F.L. players raised questions about potential racial bias in how their applications for dementia claims in the concussion settlement were evaluated. Now Congress is looking into the matter.
On Wednesday, four Democratic members of Congress sent the N.F.L. a list of questions about the race-based benchmarks being used in the landmark concussion settlement to determine whether retired players who filed claims for dementia were eligible for monetary awards.
The lawmakers’ questions stem from two legal actions filed last week in federal court by two former N.F.L. players who said they had their claims denied because the benchmarks “explicitly and deliberately” discriminate against hundreds, if not thousands, of Black players who apply for payouts worth as much as $3 million.
The players want the judge overseeing the settlement to stop doctors from using the race-based benchmarks and rely on age, education levels and other metrics that would create a more precise point of comparison for the players. They also want Black players to be able to have the results of their neurocognitive exams recalculated using “race-neutral” scales to put them on an even footing with white players.
In their letter to N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Representative Yvette Clarke of New York and Representative Maxine Waters of California asked the N.F.L. to describe how these benchmarks were developed, what efforts were being used to reduce any “embedded biases in the data” and whether the measures were peer-reviewed or examined by independent experts.
The lawmakers also asked the league to provide documentation with its responses, as well as statistics on the race of applicants for dementia claims, including what percentage of Black applicants had their dementia claims denied compared with white players. Those figures are not publicly released by the administrator of the settlement.
About two-thirds of the roughly 3,000 claims submitted by all former players have been for dementia, and about three-quarters of those claims have been denied. The separate scales for Black players and white players were not disclosed when they voted on the settlement. Instead, they are included in the confidential manual given to league-approved doctors who examine players to determine whether they are eligible for payouts for neurological and cognitive conditions including dementia.
The N.F.L. was urged “to immediately halt the use of any racially-based algorithms in the cognitive impairment evaluation until it can be determined, through a full independent review, that they do not have the effect of depriving Black players compensation they are owed,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter.
The members of Congress asked for answers to their questions no later than Oct. 2.
Last week, the N.F.L. said in a statement that the lawsuit was “entirely misguided” and that the settlement “always contemplated the use of recognized statistical techniques to account for demographic differences such as age, education and race.”
“The point of such adjustments — in contrast to the complaint’s claims — is to seek to ensure that individuals are treated fairly and compared against comparable groups.” Doctors, the league said, are not required to use any particular adjustments.
Still, the N.F.L. has appealed approved claims, arguing that doctors should have considered a player’s race when deciding whether he was eligible for a payout. For instance, the league challenged a payout to Najeh Davenport, a former running back, one of the two players who took legal action against the league last week.
But the settlement case’s special master, who rules on appeals, wrote in response to the N.F.L.’s appeal that “it is inappropriate to deny a claim solely because the clinician chose” not to use a player’s race when interpreting his test scores. The special master also cited medical experts who questioned the merits and fairness of using race when interpreting test scores.
“As using African-American-specific norms increases the rate of false negatives, there is a risk that some may be denied access to necessary benefits or compensation solely on the basis of race,” the special master wrote.
Davenport, who was joined in the lawsuit by Kevin Henry, who played eight years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, compared the use of race-based benchmarks to redlining, or the practice of denying applications of Black people seeking home loans or insurance.
“Do people think Black athletes are less than white athletes?” Davenport said. “Is that the consensus? Is that what people in the front office think?”
The senators, Wyden and Booker, are also questioning whether the racial benchmarks in the concussion settlement are consistent with other economic practices in which race is used against people of color.
The two senators and Clarke last year introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act, which “requires companies to study and fix flawed computer algorithms that result in inaccurate, unfair, biased or discriminatory decisions impacting Americans.”
Algorithms, they wrote, help decide which job candidates will be interviewed, who will be targeted for or excluded from advertisements and the prices consumers pay for goods and shopping online.
The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, where no votes have been taken. There were 30 co-sponsors of the bill in the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.
The members of Congress noted that if the accusations of racial bias were true, they “would raise serious questions about the N.F.L.’s commitment to racial justice and compliance with the Federal law that mandates equal protection.”
They continued: “As the N.F.L., and this country, attempts to take steps to address racial injustice, the N.F.L. must make a concerted effort to evaluate the degree to which racial bias impacts these compensation determinations and move promptly to rectify it.”
The question on a lot of football fans’ minds is: Can the game work in a post-Coronavirus world?
July 23, 2020 (Updated on Aug. 22, 2020);
As the University of Miami (UM) prepares for the return of in-person classes this fall amid rapidly-rising COVID-19 cases, faculty members, janitorial staff, and students are protesting the university’s reopening plan, saying some of the people most at risk were not properly consulted. As a result of their mounting disappointment with being left out of the conversation, over 500 faculty members recently signed a petition asking that professors have the right to choose between in-person and remote teaching and delivered it to UM president Julio Frenk, provost Jeffrey Duerk, and faculty senate leadership yesterday (Weds., July 22). Miami-Dade County is currently in the mist of a very serious, world-leading cluster/outbreak of the virus to such an extent that U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala has recommended issuing a new stay-at-home order. The Florida Congresswoman told ABC’s This Week last weekend that she was “terrified for the first time in her career” that included stints as Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton and as UM’s President. … With that in mind, the University of Miami and the ACC will announce plans for the 2020 Football Season at the end of July. Miami Hurricanes 2020 Preseason Rankings: Ranked #12 by Phil Steele, #21 by Pick Six Previews, #23 by Bill Connelly’s SP+, #24 by Bleacher Report, #29 by Athlon, and #32 by both Lindy’s and Street & Smith’s.
UPDATE Thurs., July 30, 2020: The ACC announced its teams will play 10 games in-conference with the best two teams by winning percentage then playing for the ACC Championship without the usual divisions coming into play. Additionally, Notre Dame will join in with the conference for this year’s football season only. Already part of the ACC for other sports, Notre Dame will return to being an independent in football in 2021. Finally, ACC teams can schedule an 11th game out of conference, if it’s played in-state. These decisions do not mean the ACC season will actually start as planned on the weekend of Sept. 12. All of this is subject to change, depending on whether public health guidance allows it. The fate of non-conference games also remains unclear, as those contests were not announced as part of the scheduling model. Because schools will be required to play those games in their home states, big marquee matchups like Auburn-North Carolina and Virginia-Georgia in Atlanta would be off the table, in addition to possibly Notre Dame at Navy. Because the SEC still has not decided on its final scheduling model, possible SEC/ACC rivalry games between Florida-FSU, Georgia-Georgia Tech, South Carolina-Clemson and Louisville-Kentucky remain unknown. [NOTE: On Aug. 6th, The Miami Herald reported that Miami Hurricanes star DE Greg Rousseau will opt out of 2020 football season, and is expected to enter the NFL Draft.]
UPDATE II Mon., Aug. 17, 2020: “Though their expressions were concealed behind mandatory masks, many University of Miami students were excited to be on the Coral Gables Campus on Monday” the University reported today. Classes for the start of UM’s Fall Semester will be held in-person on campus. Meanwhile, the University of North Carolina “pivots to all-remote instruction for undergraduates after testing showed a pattern of rapid spread of the novel coronavirus” with the UNC count up to 177 confirmed cases with 349 more students under quarantine, the Washington Post reported today. The decision came just a week after classes had begun at the 30,000-student state flagship university in Chapel Hill. Football will be unaffected by the change in classes. [NOTE: On Friday, Aug. 21st, University of Miami officials revealed that dozens of students living in dormitories on its Coral Gables Campus were forced to quarantine after four students tested positive for Coronavirus. In updates from other ACC schools: UNC announced it will remain shut down on Monday (Aug. 25th) and Tuesday, but would reopen Wednesday. North Carolina State announced Thursday that all undergraduate classes would be held online this fall after clusters of Covid-19 cases were found on campus this week. Last week, the University of Notre Dame announced it would move to virtual learning for at least the next two weeks to help contain the spread of Covid-19.
On Tuesday, the NFLPA informed players there’ll be no preseason games this summer with traditional training camp rosters of 90 players set to drop by 10 – to 80 players for 2020. As was suggested in my post below, this is not a good year to be an undrafted Free Agent like S Robert Knowles or DT Pat Bethel because of the contraction in preseason roster sizes and the elimination of Exhibition Games. The League and the Union came to an agreement on Monday to conduct daily testing for the first two weeks of training camp, which was one of the final major health and safety hurdles that had yet to be worked out. While the NFL and NFLPA continue to check things off the to-do list before camp begins next week, the economics of how they’ll absorb revenue losses due to the pandemic still looms large over these two sides and will need to be worked out at some point in the near future. Training camps for most NFL teams are scheduled to begin July 28th.
UPDATE Thurs., July 30, 2020: The NFL’s new reserve/COVID-19 list has been instituted and any players on that list do not count in the 80-player roster limit currently in effect. Due to league policy pertaining to the virus, NFL teams are only allowed to comment on a player’s roster status and may not disclose whether or not a player is in quarantine or has tested positive. However, the protocol for returning to active status varies depending on what category the player falls into: tested positive and symptomatic, tested positive but asymptomatic, or tested negative but under quarantine after contact with an infected person. The rules vary, but all categories require that 3 to 4 conditions must be met before their return to the active roster. Falcons’ S Jamal Carter and Dolphins OL Ereck Flowers are the 1st ProCanes to be placed on the NFL’s new Covid/IR. [Note: On Aug. 4th, Dolphins’ WR Allen Hurns became the first ProCane to opt out of playing in 2020. The next day, 49ers WR Travis Benjamin also opted out for 2020. Hurns and Benjamin will earn $150K each for not playing this upcoming season (although it will be considered an advance on their 2021 salaries).]
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Football League was forced to postpone its 2020 season, which had been scheduled to start last month. Assuming a bargaining agreement with the CFL Players’ Association, significant Canadian government support, and approval from public health authorities can all be arranged, the CFL is hoping to play a shortened season with games starting in September in the “hub city” of Winnipeg with players and coaches in a protected “bubble” consisting of local hotels and practice fields for every game. Canada’s Covid-19 infection rate is much lower that in the USA with 80% of Canadian cases originating in nursing homes, and the NHL is using the “hub-city format” for its 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs which are expected to start Aug. 1st. Offered the union pro-rated base salaries of 33% for a six-game season, the CFL’s players union voted overwhelmingly against the latest financial proposal from the CFL. For American players on base salaries, they would take home less than $10,000 (USD) for approximately three months work. According to sources, over 85% of CFL players voted “no” on the offered financial terms. Committing to self-isolation and quarantine for up to 15 weeks (105 days) was also part of the stipulations laid out in the same proposal from the league. CFL players want to ensure their risk of contracting the virus is mitigated by increased testing. The financial and medical aspects are the two critical factors for any sort of 2020 season to happen as the CFL’s self-imposed deadline draws near.
UPDATE Mon., Aug. 17, 2020: The postponed CFL season has now been officially cancelled by the league, saying it was in “the best long-term interests” of the sport. The CFL reportedly failed to secure a $22 million loan from the federal government that it said it needed to salvage the season. The cancellation of the 2020 CFL season will mean it will be the first time in more than a century that the Grey Cup won’t be awarded.
Reports are that there are potential bids from over thirty entities to purchase the XFL out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, and now Las Vegas is taking a shot at providing betting odds on who will be the top bidder. Disney/Fox (+180) and the NFL (+250) are the top two candidates to purchase the XFL based on betting odds provided by MyBookie sports book. … The Spring League last week completed its first Mini-camp since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The professional football development league held its four-day Mini-camp in Glendale, Colorado on July 14th-17th. Eighty-five players, the majority of whom were under the age of 24, took part in the padded camp, which concluded last Friday with a 90-play scrimmage. The Spring League is a place where former college and NFL players get a chance to showcase their skills in front of NFL and CFL scouts with the XFL also heavily involved in scouting players at this TSL event. TSL medical staff was on hand to conduct daily health screenings and temperature checks; no players tested positive for COVID-19 during the camp or displayed any symptoms. At 28 years old, DE/LB David Gilbert was the only ProCane participating in this year’s version of the Spring League and was the third-oldest player in Colorado for the showcasing sessions. [A pair of CBs were older: Univ. of New Mexico’s Julian Lewis at 29 and Ohio U.’s Thomas Wright at a crotchety 36]. The Spring League is currently planning to conduct an abbreviated fall season in October with four teams playing in Las Vegas at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium in a made for television format that will include top NFL free agents and possible college football underclassmen hoping to take advantage of playing in The Spring League’s NFL system prior to the 2021 NFL draft.
UPDATE Mon., Aug. 3, 2020: ProCane Dwayne Johnson, along with his partners @DanyGarciaCo (Johnson’s ex-wife) & sports banker Gerry Cardinale’s Red Bird Capital, announced the acquisition of the XFL out of Chap. 11 Bankruptcy proceedings. The purchase price was reportedly $15 million. Johnson and his investors plans include potentially creating reality-TV programming akin to HBO’s Hard Knocks, and they’re preparing to market a new “media package” (not just the XFL games themselves) to all potential buyers, including streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Arena Leagues Summary: Two games into the 2020 season, the Indoor Football League (IFL) postponed the rest of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Apr. 13, 2020, the IFL season fully cancelled. … After playing preseason games this spring, the Champions Indoor Football (CIF) organization decided to cancel all of its games scheduled for 2020. … The start-up National Gridiron League (NGL) cancelled OTAs earlier this year, but then announced that its arena teams would be allowed to play outdoors. However, the 2020 NGL season was later indefinitely postponed because of the pandemic. … On March 13, 2020, the American West Football Conference (AWFC) announced on its website that the 2020 season would be postponed due to the ongoing pandemic, citing the high number of cases reported from Washington, one of two states that had a team in that league. … In February, even earlier in the course of the pandemic, the American Arena League (AAL) announced all of its teams were suspending operations for the 2020 season. … As with almost all other sports leagues, the National Arena League (NAL) suspended operations during the pandemic, with the intention to hold the season once social distancing mandates were lifted and it was safe to do so. Later, on June 12, 2020, the 2020 NAL season was also fully cancelled. … The Texas Alliance Indoor League (TAIL) cancelled its season on May 31st, but announced that its Texas Blaze and Lonestar Bisons franchises would be leaving to join another League starting play in July (as the State of Texas also experiences its own peak-Coronavirus moment). … The Elite Indoor League (EIL) insisted it would play its 2020 Spring Season – “We understand that a couple of our teams might need to wait until the 2021 season for startup, which is perfectly fine, but the majority of (EIL) teams will be competing for the 2020 Championship!” – but the EIL Facebook Page hasn’t had a new post since late April.
NFL U Update
May 16, 2020
Spring/Summer 2020 Covid-19 Update: At the U, Spring Practice was suspended and on-campus classes were ended, but UM Head Coach Manny Diaz said yesterday (Friday) that he expects a college football season this calendar year. Hurricane Players rehabbing from injuries will be allowed to return to campus this coming week with TE Brevin Jordan, G Navaughn Donaldson, incoming freshman RB Don Chaney Jr. and LBs Sam Brooks Jr. & Waynmon Steed among those expected. However, each State and each Campus is reopening at its own pace and with different guidelines. While the NBA’s Miami Heat and Orlando Magic have already resumed practice, the ACC will have to work within the public health requirements of each City and State to determine how to move forward with college football training camps.
UPDATE Weds., June 3, 2020, Greentree Practice Fields: Two-thirds of the Miami football team spent Tuesday in Voluntary Workouts.
In the NFL, there won’t be rookie mini-camps or OTAs this year, meaning there won’t be any undrafted free-agent tryouts conducted at rookie mini-camps. Along with the cancellation of most on-campus Pro Days – Miami’s Pro Day was scheduled for April 1st, but it turned out to be a cruel April Fool’s Day Joke when it was cancelled due to the pandemic – the lack of mini-camp tryouts left prospects who were on the edge without a lot of hope. “I want [scouts] to see what I’m capable of. I want them to see my speed. My agility. See my flexibility. See that a big guy can move. I’d love for them to have seen that,” safety Robert Knowles, who started nine of Miami’s 13 games and had a career-high 43 tackles and broke up a career-best five passes, told Hurricane Sports on Apr. 1st. “Now, it’s just kind of hard. It has you thinking a lot. I’m trying to figure out what’s next, too.” His concerns proved prophetic. Uninvited to the NFL Combine, Knowles went undrafted and hasn’t yet been offered a rookie free agent contract or even gotten a tryout. Considering that CBS Sports-DraftScout.com predicted Knowles’ draft status would probably be High: FA, Low: Tryout, one wonders if fringe ProCanes like Knowles, DT Pat Bethel, and offensive linemen Joe Brown or Tommy Kennedy were possibly cheated out of a shot at the pros by the virus. [Unsigned LB Michael Pinckney passed on FA offers to continue rehabbing and hopefully maximize his NFL opportunities later this summer.] The NFL’s replacement “classroom instruction, workouts, and non-football educational programs through Skype, or any other platform, on a ‘virtual’ basis” ended yesterday (May 15th). All teams will now be given the option to conduct voluntary veteran mini-camps “virtually between May 18 and June 26, 2020.” Teams have been able to send players exercise equipment and technology, but until all 32 NFL teams are cleared to return, the NFL’s off-season will continue remotely. The NFL plans to begin its season in September as usual, but with games scheduled to take place overseas being moved back to the U.S.A.
The CFL was scheduled to start June 11th, but the league has put off its decision of if, and when, it opens until July. The league might follow in the footsteps of what the NHL is considering: trying to hold games in one or more “hub cities.” The currently favored proposal would select two cities, one for each division, to play CFL games. Fans would almost certainly not be admitted into stadiums due to the pandemic. On Apr. 29th, the CFL asked the Canadian government for up to $150 million (Canadian) of relief funds to ensure its survival; however, a number of MPs were dubious about a CFL bailout especially if American players received monies from any bailout. Going into his 8th season in the CFL, OL Joel Figueroa is scheduled to return to the British Columbia Lions in 2020, while OL Justin Renfrow moves from the B.C. Lions to the Edmonton Eskimos and recent UM grad CB Jhavonte Dean moves from the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ PS to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. ProCanes RB Trayone “Choc” Gray and QB Vincent Testaverde Jr. were also scheduled to be in CFL training camps, with the Toronto Argonauts and British Columbia Lions, respectively. On May 7th, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie spoke to a Canadian House of Commons Committee explaining that the financial viability of the league has been compromised, and its future is certainly now in question.
Last spring, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — which involves the liquidation of assets — while this spring, the XFL filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy — which involves a reorganization. While a Chapter 11 filing can be converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation (equipment, merchandise, and any other property owned by the league sold to pay off creditors like the nearly $300,000 owed to the University of Houston), the XFL hopes to sell the entire entity intact by July 15th. However, just because the league has a plan to sell by mid-July, doesn’t mean they will find a buyer. Out of a job because the virus halted their XFL season were ProCanes HC Winston Moss (Los Angeles Wildcats), LB Thurston Armbrister & DB Herb Waters (both of the Tampa Bay Vipers), P Justin Vogel (New York Guardians), FB Marquez Williams (Houston Roughnecks), OL Malcolm Bunche (DC Defenders), and LB Gionni Paul, OL Venzell Boulware & DL Anthony Moten (all with the Seattle Dragons). Bunche (see ProCanes 2019 post, “Life on the Waiver Wire”) and Paul were both on AAF and XFL payrolls only to have two spring seasons ended prematurely – talk about having a pair of horses shot out from under you! CB Ladarius Gunter (DC Defenders), WR Stacey Coley (Dallas Renegades traded to Tampa Bay Vipers), WR Tyre Brady (Seattle Dragons), and QB Vincent Testaverde (Tampa Bay Vipers) were all cut in camp. CB Jhavonte Dean and OL Tyler Gauthier (both drafted by the Seattle Dragons) didn’t sign with the XFL, going instead with the CFL and NFL, respectively, in 2020. WR Tommy Streeter, LB Arthur Brown, QB Jake Heaps, RBs Joe Yearby & Storm Johnson, OGs Brandon Washington & Jahair Jones, DTs Micanor Regis & Courtel Jenkins and LS Paul Kelly were all in the XFL Draft Pool, but went undrafted in the XFL’s two-part draft.
In existence since 2017 with 229 of its Alums having signed Pro Football Contracts (#NFL: 90; #CFL: 51; #AAF: 55 and #XFL: 33), the Spring League (TSL) is still planning its outdoor TSL Showcase to be held in Denver, Colorado on July 14-17, 2020. TSL Rosters have not yet been established at this time. In the Arena Leagues where teams rely heavily on gate and concessions revenue, it appears that the Elite Indoor League (EIL) is set to begin play in mid-May. Unfortunately, EIL team rosters are not yet available online. The National Arena League (NAL) is hoping to kick off its schedule in June with DL George Brown Jr. playing for the West Virginia Roughriders, although OL Brandon Washington (Massachusetts Pirates) and DL Tyriq McCord (Orlando Predators) are no longer listed on 2020 NAL rosters. The Champions Indoor Football (CIF) is also monitoring the situation with the pandemic and hopes to still have a product in arenas this spring season. WR Kayne Farquharson is a longtime member of the CIF’s Omaha Beef. The Texas Alliance Indoor League (rosters unavailable), the Indoor Football League (IFL), and the National Gridiron League (NGL) have all already cancelled all of their remaining scheduled games in 2020. K Diego Marquez was on the 2020 roster of the IFL’s Green Bay Blizzard (the IFL’s Nebraska Danger where Marquez and DL Courtel Jenkins played in 2019 has since folded); while TE Standish Dobard was scheduled to return to the NGL’s Virginia Beach Destroyers in 2020 (although RB Joe Yearby is no longer listed on the NGL’s St. Louis Stampede 2020 roster).
The Arena Football League (AFL) will also not be playing this spring, or ever again for that matter, after declaring Chap. 7 Bankruptcy on Nov. 27, 2019 in a financial measure unrelated to the Coronavirus. Founded in 1987, either the original AFL, or its smaller-city developmental league the AFL2, had played a spring season every year from 1987 through 2019 — making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America after the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the National Football League (NFL). About 60 ProCanes were affiliated with the AFL and/or AFL2 over the years – beginning with UM Class of ’83 DL Eric Larkin, who was on the inaugural 1987 roster of the Chicago Bruisers (one of only 4 AFL teams in that 1st season), through UM Class of 2013 WR Kendal Thompkins, who played in his 5th AFL season in 2019 with the Washington Valor (and was one of a half-dozen ProCanes who spent time with AFL teams last spring). DB Nick Ward played nine seasons (2001-09) in the AFL and WR Magic “Mr. Af2” Benton played nine seasons in the AFL2 (2001-09, all with the Florida Firecats). RB Leonard Conley and LB/FB Basil Proctor each had eight-year careers in the AFL, while WR/RB Jason Geathers, DB/WR Bobby Byrd, and DL Eric Miller all played seven years in the AFL. Also, UM’s Fran Curci served as HC of the AFL’s Tampa Bay Storm (1990-91) and the Cincinnati Rockers (1992).