I've recently been hearing things about the USFL starting back up as an NFL developmental league. This article from The Finsider explains it well. The article states that it would still be a spring/summer league, but I've also heard mention that they would play in the fall, maybe having Wednesday night games.
Either way, I think the idea of a developmental league as a way to develop players for specific NFL teams would really be the key to success. We go crazy talking about OTAs and Training Camp, I would imagine there is a sizable chunk of fans who would be interested to see future or potential Browns out on the field.
The Finsider mentions 8 teams comprised of 10 players from each team in each division. This makes some logistical sense in that each team would not be required to support a fully functioning minor league team, coaches, trainers and all. However, if you're trying to develop players for your system, that seems problematic.
D league games would be a nice economic boost for smaller, tie-in markets. I know people in Canton were really bummed about the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game last year. Losing that one extra day of people in town cost their economy a lot of money. The games don't have to pull 40K people to make economic sense, just using some of these smaller stadiums more than a few times a year would be worth it. The NFL Network could show something other than the same 5 "A Football Life"s in constant rotation.
Obviously, the biggest benefit is on the field training. Practice Squad guys don't learn anything, heck, even guys on the bench of real NFL teams don't get enough practice reps or experience. Bubble guys like Adonis Thomas or last years Jarret Brown wouldn't just have to be cut, we could keep them and see if we can find the next Kurt Warner.
As we're all sitting around missing the Browns, what are some of your ideas on how this could be a success? Or do you think a new USFL would be a complete failure? Would you go to the games or watch on TV?
I'll admit to being one of the few weirdos who really liked the USFL, and watched a lot of games on TV. I would be even more inclined to watch future potential Browns players. The only one thing that must happen is that the D league would still need to respect the 3 years out of High School rule. If kids start signing minor league football contracts instead of going to college (and they would) it would really kill college football (and the NCAA does a good enough job of that by themselves).