I saw the undrafted free agent market a little different than most. As the frantic scramble to fill 90 man rosters across the League continues, most teams are throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks. My philosophy was always to set aside money to secure a half dozen or so undrafted players that were still on our board (usually from about the 5th round down). We made sure to budget enough rookie pool (cash and cap) to pay these players almost the equivalent of a late 7th round choice.
As a result, our coaching staff always felt a little more invested in these players once training camp began. Coaches and scouts were given considerable input into the remaining “signees” after the draft had ended. Many club executives will argue for upwards of 20 undrafted rookies. I’m against that point of view for a number of reasons but primarily because I don’t think it gives your veterans a good “look” in camp.
I always preferred to fill the remainder of the roster with “Reserve Future” players. Many of these were going into their second year and had already been through a camp and scouted against NFL competition. Each and every one had been invited to our facility for a “Tuesday workout”. Almost all were signed with no bonus and were itching to prove their rookie season wasn’t indicative of their capabilities. There was always a certain “hunger” with this group. Frequently, when bringing in two dozen undrafted rookie free agents, you get a “herd of baby deer” staring into the headlights of an oncoming “veteran freight train”.
Quality versus quantity was my mantra.