Former Venice Star May Join New Football League

Thursday, 16 Jul 2009, 5:00:00 AM

(unassigned)

There’s been considerable speculation recently that former National Football League first round draft choice J.P. Losman may become a marquee player in the new United Football League, which is scheduled to begin in October.

Following a spectacular career at Venice High Losman attended UCLA, transferred to Tulane and became the first round pick of the Buffalo Bills.

He then lost his quarterback job to Trent Edwards, his contract ran out and it was expected that he’d sign with another NFL team.

However, rumors have circulated in recent days that Losman may sign with the Las Vegas team in the UFL, which will be coached by former quarterback and NFL coach Jim Fassel.

The history of start-up pro leagues is they attempt to sign someone from the established league to draw attention. Losman fits that category, and so does Tim Ratay, who has been with the San Francisco 49ers and is expected to play in the UFL. Former NFL coach Dennis Green will coach San Francisco.

There’s also been talk that quarterback Michael Vick would be welcomed by the UFL if he isn’t asked back by the NFL after serving a prison term.

The UFL’s games, which will be played on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, will be televised by the Versus cable network.

The UFL is planning to have four teams in its initial season -- Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, and Orlando -- and expand to eight in the second year. It has been announced that Los Angeles will have a franchise in 2010 and one of Las Vegas’ home games this season will be played here.

It’s been reported that an investment group headed by Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has invested $30 million to own the first four franchises.

The UFL aims to have 10 players on each team earn $1 million per season.

Losman was all-city at Venice and ranks as one of the most successful Westside athletes in the recent past.

A decision is expected shortly on his participation as pro football teams are approaching the start of training camp.

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