Spring League Carries Momentum Into Summer
The Spring League was warmly received, in concept and execution by scouts after its initial batch of games in April, and many see its potential going further. Over a dozen players found their way to NFL mini-camps or CFL rosters, and some still seek to earn an opportunity to return to the pros after the upcoming July 15th Spring League Showcase in Napa, CA at Memorial Stadium.
Founded in 2016, The Spring League is a developmental football league that provides an extra avenue for former pros or college players who came close but missed out on securing an NFL roster spot (the median age being 25 years old for most SL players).
While a major focus of the league is to allow players to showcase their talent on the field through a series of games, there's an additional emphasis on honing the players' existing talent and football knowledge.
Specifically, Spring League CEO Brian Woods noted the league's immediate value appears to be in developing quarterbacks, presumably due to the background of Spring League coach, Terry Shea who has worked with NFL quarterbacks such as Matt Stafford and Sam Bradford.
"We were pleased with the NFL turnout for sure," Woods said in an interview to ESPN. "It was overwhelming and we were happy to have it. I was talking as it wrapped up with some of our coaches, and we feel like this league is in position to help quarterbacks as much as anything, and we all know that's an ongoing priority for the NFL."
For the July Spring League Showcase, most will be paying close attention to a few former NFL vets looking to find their way back into the league. While Greg Hardy (former Panthers and Cowboys DE) might be the one player with the most name recognition and raw football ability, his past behavior and character flaws make it hard to believe he gets picked up unless a team has a desperate need. Anthony Dixon and Fred Jackson, former Bills' running backs will also be featured in the July showcase.
However, former Texan and Brown, Ben Tate, has proven consistent during the April games when it came to racking up chunk yardage. Given the emphasis on multiple running back systems, it's likely Tate could join a team heading into the preseason in order to add depth.
Ben Tate at April Spring League:
One sleeper to watch would be former West Virginia running back Noel Devine, who showed incredible agility, burst, and vision during The Spring League opener. His size and frame might cause scouts to show apprehension, but he stood up to solid hits well.
Noel Devine Highlights:
Tickets to The Spring League Showcase
To watch online: Tune in live to watch Jackson and Dixon play in The Spring League Showcase on Saturday, July 15, exclusively on FloFootball.com!
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