NFL: Hakeem Butler Invited to Steelers Camp

4theCYcle

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Maybe I'm wrong here but the Steelers WR room doesn't look that strong either. Maaaaaaybe he can sneak a final roster spot if things go well? Hope he can at least catch on a practice squad somewhere.

I know the Eagles liked him as a tight end so maybe he'll get more looks because of that too.
I just don't understand that at all. Dude was a playmaker at WR and they wanted him at TE? I just wish he didn't hurt his wrist, but maybe this 2nd chance will blow him up again.
 

theshadow

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The NFL tried making one in the early 1990s with the WLAF/NFL Europe. I'm surprised it didn't work with the NFL shield being attached to it or they haven't tried again themselves since then.

~15 years is a pretty good run for a spring football league, especially one overseas. But like every other spring league failure, some front office people couldn't leave well enough alone.
 

Sigmapolis

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~15 years is a pretty good run for a spring football league, especially one overseas. But like every other spring league failure, some front office people couldn't leave well enough alone.

Obviously I'm not the one with a fancy MBA to put together a business plan.

But something like this...

-- NFL spring/developmental league
-- it being an official NFL product gives it a veneer of seriousness and respectability and a built-in fanbase that "independent" spring leagues like the XFL 3.0 and USFL 2.0 can never touch
-- tie spring teams to the "big boy" teams somehow... maybe one spring league team per division or pair them up or pool them somehow so they have some built-in access to NFL fan bases
-- wouldn't diehard Packer fans, for instance, have wanted to watch Jordan Love play in the spring the past couple of seasons (assuming he would) to see what they have after Rodgers goes?
-- wouldn't Steelers fans have been excited to watch one of their spring guys be the best WR in the development league for a year and love to talk about what he could mean for helping out Kenny Pickett and his development by giving him a new target who can make plays for a young QB?
-- works like the NBA D-League, a further chance to develop and evaluate talent
-- let players a year or two under the NFL age cap (have to be out of high school for at least three years) play in this league... or maybe even a year before that... monopolize the talent yourself
-- this probably draws enough TV viewers to at least pay for itself
-- immediately starts building "the hype" for next season after the Super Bowl... the whole summer is going to be about what impact a guy like Butler might have on the Steelers after his great spring season with the Allentown Butter Churns or whatever you want to call them

Outsourcing it to these other leagues doesn't carry any risk for the NFL, obviously, and yet they get the benefit of evaluating and hyping a player like Butler... but doesn't have any of the built-in advantages.
 
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HFCS

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Which is why the NFL is supporting that league and it has a better chance than most minor football leagues of lasting.

The NBA doesn't really need the G League other than for some logistical streamlining. Multiple continents with their own pro leagues are now feeding the NBA and plenty of American players go there to develop and get paid more than G League.

Even baseball has legitimate foreign leagues in addition to college baseball. They use it even more for logistic reasons but if it didn't exist the best non MLB players would still have options.

It's kind of crazy NFL only had college football and arena league.
 

theshadow

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Obviously I'm not the one with a fancy MBA to put together a business plan.

But something like this...

-- NFL spring/developmental league

In the early years of NFLE (post-WLAF), it was mostly a developmental league, with NFL teams allocating players to NFLE teams. Kurt Warner and Adam Vinatieri are among the notables who played in Europe.

Later on, the owners/GMs ****** it all up by simply using NFLE "assignments" as a method to just stash guys and gain exemptions in order to get more bodies in their own teams' training camps.
 

Sigmapolis

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The NBA doesn't really need the G League other than for some logistical streamlining. Multiple continents with their own pro leagues are now feeding the NBA and plenty of American players go there to develop and get paid more than G League.

Even baseball has legitimate foreign leagues in addition to college baseball. They use it even more for logistic reasons but if it didn't exist the best non MLB players would still have options.

It's kind of crazy NFL only had college football and arena league.

The Arena Football League is dead. I know there are still other indoor leagues, though. I think somebody bought the IP off the scrap heap and is going to try to relaunch it, but it's a different league.

I can't think of many arena guys who clawed their way into the NFL outside of Warner.

In the early years of NFLE (post-WLAF), it was mostly a developmental league, with NFL teams allocating players to NFLE teams. Kurt Warner and Adam Vinatieri are among the notables who played in Europe.

Later on, the owners/GMs ****** it all up by simply using NFLE "assignments" as a method to just stash guys and gain exemptions in order to get more bodies in their own teams' training camps.

I still think it would be valuable as a roster management/development tool if NFL front offices used it in good faith (or the rules were setup to make them do that). That and it wouldn't take much of a TV audience to make it pay for itself. The TV ratings for the NBA and NHL and the like look pitiful compared to the NFL yet those "minor" leagues (compared to the NFL juggernaut) still manage to make excellent money.

That is before you account for the keep fans engaged/built hype for next season effect, which is something the NFL has to some degree now with free agency, the draft, the schedule release, and camps.
 

cyrocksmypants

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I know he left a year early, but wasn’t he an old junior? Didn’t he do a year of prep school first or am I thinking of someone else?
 

BigLame

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Maybe I'm wrong here but the Steelers WR room doesn't look that strong either. Maaaaaaybe he can sneak a final roster spot if things go well? Hope he can at least catch on a practice squad somewhere.

I know the Eagles liked him as a tight end so maybe he'll get more looks because of that too.
He's faster &, to me, a better deep ball target than Lazard, and he is not going the TE route, so just because he's tall doesn't mean he'll ever be a TE.

I expected the Steelers to draft a WR late, just for depth, but maybe they knew of this (bringing in Keem). Khan, their new GM, has done an outstanding job so far. Hope like Hell he can find a niche & make it. Would be outstanding.
 
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Cyclone90

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He was like a grown man playing against middle schoolers at times. I've always been shocked he didn't stick in the NFL given his ridiculous physical talents.

I hope he makes it back and hits it big.

He has all the tools outside of consistently catching the ball. He's got a great shot if he can improve there. Unfortunately, I still saw some easy XFL drops. Wishing him the best. He's a great Cyclone.
 

BigTurk

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The NBA doesn't really need the G League other than for some logistical streamlining. Multiple continents with their own pro leagues are now feeding the NBA and plenty of American players go there to develop and get paid more than G League.

Even baseball has legitimate foreign leagues in addition to college baseball. They use it even more for logistic reasons but if it didn't exist the best non MLB players would still have options.

It's kind of crazy NFL only had college football and arena league.

I don’t think today’s college football with the spread offense is great for pro player development. Not like it used to be. How many qb’s can read a defense in college like is required of pros? I could be wrong but I get the sense the top spread guys really struggle in the NFL. The XFL would give guys a chance to play pro style ball against good competition.

You have to wonder too if the World League and NFL Europe was just bad timing? With more media companies today these companies are hungry for content which gives XFL a better chance to be televised. Not so 20+ years ago. Also, is there really an audience for American football in Europe?
 

WhatchaGonnaDo

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Nice review and breakdown of him, also talks about their WR situation. Sounds like he has a shot at making the roster.

Interesting bit here:
It was reported that Butler was invited to Pittsburgh's rookie minicamp but he didn't attend. Still, GM Omar Khan mentioned Butler by name when talking about the WR position, suggesting the Steelers intended to sign him.

 

FarmClone

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Edit: Late, didn’t see this on the front page. Thought people would be more excited.
 

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