Last month, the NFL announced they will hold the first ever veteran's combine on March 22. The idea behind it is to provide a time and place for free agents to show off what they can do, and potentially have an easier time communicating with teams. Much like NFL teams all congregate in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine, the veteran's Combine would seemingly provide a similar opportunity.
The Combine requires an application, and the league is only allowing 100 players to participate. I'd imagine the NFL will eventually release a full list of players, but we have some early names. According to various reports, quarterback Vince Young, defensive end Michael Sam, and defensive tackle DaJohn Harris are all expected to take part in the Combine.
There will be plenty more names, but the early list seems to focus on veterans that have struggled to find a place in recent years. There are 97 more spots, and my guess is most will be players who are already free agents. Additionally, impending free agents that were potentially dealing with injuries at the end of the season might get opportunities as well.
A healthy player hitting free agency next week will have a season's worth of recent game film. The veteran Combine seems better suited for players without much film from 2014, and players who need to show that they are in good shape. My guess is we are talking primarily about guys battling for the final few spots on a given roster. Once we know who ends up at the Combine, I want to keep track of how many end up signing a contract, and how many end up making a roster heading into the beginning of the 2015 regular season. It will be an interesting comparison to see what kind of value this new Combine provides.