Getting Cut Doesn’t Mean You Have to Give Up on Your NFL Dream


Unfortunately, a ton of guys get cut from NFL teams before the regular season starts.

Some end up on NFL practice squads, but most will end up on the street.

Related: Explaining the NFL Practice Squad Rules

But hey, getting cut doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams.

Related: Life After Football – Secrets to Making A Smooth Transition – Part One

LB Cameron Wake of the Miami Dolphins played two seasons in the CFL before getting his break. (ICON Sports)

There’s some other pro football leagues you can play in to try to get back to the NFL.

Let’s take a look at your options.


The UFL is arguably the next best thing to playing in the NFL.  They’re going through some more financial issues right now, though.

And the compensation ain’t nothin’ to write home about either, as most players make $40,000 for the season, so you’re making about $5,000 a game, which ain’t bad.

Related: Contact Info for All UFL Teams

Problem is, there’s only 8 games to the season.

Depending on who you are, you may get some performance-based incentives sprinkled in your contract here-and-there.  A handful of players (mostly popular quarterbacks) get six figure salaries.

The players on the two teams that meet up for the UFL championship earn some extra coin for participating in the championship game.

Just consider yourself warned, because the UFL had a little trouble paying out that extra coin last season.

On the bright side, UFL teams foot the bill for their player’s housing.

The biggest perk to playing in the UFL, in my opinion, is that you’re playing for, and developing relationships with, coaching staffs that are filled with ex-NFL


personnel.  The UFL can give you some great exposure for landing your dream gig in the NFL if you’re good enough, and not too old.

Related: How to Put Together the ULTIMATE Football Player Resume


The CFL is arguably the next best thing to playing in the UFL.  The field is larger, so the game is different from American football.

There’s only 3 downs instead of 4, and it’s built around speed, so their linemen tend to be smaller than the NFL. There are some other differences, too.

CFL is definitely not the football abyss.

Quite a few players have received NFL opportunities after playing in the CFL.  Matter of fact, after the 2009 season, 14 players signed with NFL teams, not to mention several others that got workouts and tryouts with NFL teams.

CFL contracts are normally for two years, with a one year option. If you’re from the U.S., the first $80,000 you make in the CFL is exempt from US taxes.

CFL rosters are filled with players that are talented and fast enough to play in the NFL, but may be deemed as undersized…  especially linemen.

To play in Canada, you’ll need a passport, so if you have legal issues that could keep you from getting one, you’d be best getting those issues taken care of first before trying to land a gig in the CFL.

Click below to check out Part 2, where we’ll take a look at the indoor alternatives to playing in the NFL.

Get Cut by an NFL Team? Consider these Other Pro Football Leagues. Part 2


If you didn’t make it to the NFL out-of-college, would you give up, or would you consider playing in another league? Let us know in the comments!

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