As the inaugural season of the new USFL winds down, a quarterback on one of the semifinal teams has been named a possible fit for the Detroit Lions.
The first season of the rebooted USFL is in the home stretch, with the semifinals this weekend and the championship game July 3. Just in time for training camps to start later in July, USFL players will then be able to sign with NFL teams.
The Detroit Lions could be surveying the USFL for possible signings, including one player the franchise is familiar with. Two former Lions’ signal callers, Kyle Sloter and Luis Perez, will be playing in a semifinal game, but not against each other.
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report has outlined six players in the USFL playoffs who deserve a shot in the NFL. Potential teams fits were listed for each, and the Lions landed as a fit for one of the six.
USFL quarterback a fit for the Detroit Lions?
Case Cookus did not open the season as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Stars. But he finished the regular season fourth in the league in passing yards (1,334) and second in passing touchdowns (12), over seven starts and nine total games. He led the Stars to 35 points in two games, and 46 points once.
Here’s what Ballentine wrote about Cookus.
"The former Northern Arizona product brings NFL size to the table at 6’4″ and 205 pounds. He also showed off his athleticism with a 79-yard touchdown run against the Panthers.Cookus’ ability to escape pressure and deliver accurate balls down field should be enough to intrigue an NFL team. He could be a camp arm at the very least, but he has the potential to develop into an NFL backup.Potential Fits: Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Rams"
Cookus was on the offseason rosters of the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders over 2020 and 2021. He was also briefly on the roster the Edmonton Elks in the CFL last year.
If the Lions were to sign Cookus, he’d have an uphill battle to stick around very long–a camp arm to be sure, who might become a practice squad candidate. But an otherwise boring backup quarterback situation in Detroit would at least get a little interesting, however briefly.