NFL announces inaugural veteran combine

NFL announces inaugural veteran combine
NFL announces inaugural veteran combine

Vince Papale better dust off those cleats.

The former Philadelphia Eagles walk-on made famous by the Mark Wahlberg vehicle "Invincible" and any other veteran free agent are welcome to apply for participation in the inaugural NFL Veteran Combine at the Arizona Cardinals' practice facility on March 22, according to the league's website.

According to a memo obtained by NFL.com's Ian Rappaport, 100 applicants will be invited to take part in drills, testing and timing for representatives of all 32 teams. Previously, veteran free agents took part in regional rookie combines or worked out for individual teams for an opportunity to reenter the league.

While we can probably rule out Papale, who is approaching his 69th birthday, the veteran combine gives a second chance to players young and old who couldn't stick with a team, played their way out of the league or fell through the cracks. Or have the name Terrell Owens. All are welcome to apply, although the league is limiting the number of spots so as not to create a circus on the eve of the annual owners' meeting.

"There's a void there," NFL director of football development Matt Birk told the Associated Press. "There was nothing for that guy out there who has one or two or three years in the league and is not with a team and is at the mercy of when the phone rings or when his agent gets him a workout. This will be a forum for these guys to showcase their talents and a service for our clubs instead of [what had been] an inefficient process."

As with any big corporation's bright idea, it's a wonder nobody thought of this before.

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