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Herzlich will hedge his bets with NFL, keep UFL option open

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  • By NFL.com
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The UFL can wait.

Former Boston College linebacker -- and cancer survivor -- Mark Herzlich, who was bypassed during April's NFL draft, said Monday night on Sirius NFL Radio that he has his sights set on playing in the NFL, not the UFL, where he was drafted by the Omaha Nighthawks.

"I am going to try to keep my options open in terms of NFL free agency," Herzlich said. "I'm convinced it will work out."

The Nighthawks made Herzlich the 51st overall pick during the UFL draft last week.

"It's a real honor to be drafted," Herzlich said. "People in Omaha are excited, and if it doesn't work out with the NFL, it could be a good fit for me."

Herzlich was caught a bit off-guard by the lack of interest during the NFL draft.

"We just sat and waited and waited and waited," he said. "It got to the point where halfway through the seventh round I was like, 'It might not happen, it's not going to happen so I've got to find the best fit some other way.'"

Despite being given a clean bill of health, he realizes that his bout with cancer -- He was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a malignant tumor most often found in bone or soft tissue -- could have raised a red flag for many teams.

"There's definitely a scare factor, whether maybe an owner doesn't understand as much about the fact that my cancer is gone, it's not coming back," Herzlich said. "That could obviously be a problem.

"I'm back. I'm healthy. I'm strong. I'm ready to go. Whenever I get the chance to get on a team, I'll be ready to prove (it) to them."

Just when that chance will come is unclear, as Herzlich is forced to wait for the NFL and it's players to settle on a new collective bargaining agreement before teams can sign undrafted free agents.

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