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Strange but true: Earl Campbell could have played football in two leagues?

The owner of the San Antonio Gunslingers, an expansion team in the United States Football League, reportedly wanted Campbell “real bad.”

HOUSTON — How close did "The Tyler Rose" come to putting down his roots in San Antonio while playing for the Houston Oilers?

It’s February 1984, the Oilers are terrible (2-14) and the words used to describe the state of star running back Earl Campbell?

Unhappy and disgruntled.

“…there comes a time in your life when you feel you should be making more money. I’m at that point now,” Campbell said, as reported by Associated Press.

The Oilers, though, won’t renegotiate his contract.

Enter the San Antonio Gunslingers, an expansion team in the United States Football League – spring football. The team’s owner reportedly wants Campbell “real bad.”

Campbell's interested and the headlines look like this: Could he play for both teams?

According to his agent, “Earl feels he should have the ability to work year-round.”

That’s right: play in the NFL and the USFL.

There’s one problem: The NFL has an exclusivity rule, which prevents him from playing in another league.

Campbell and his agent, reportedly, consider taking the NFL to court. But it never happens.

Two months later, Campbell and the Oilers make up.

How close was he to playing year-round?

“Back then it was just hard to beat the NFL. Somebody was talking about the USFL. It was probably just more talking than anything,” Campbell said in January.

 A negotiating ploy, perhaps?

“Yeah, I think that,” he added.

Campbell considers playing football in both the NFL and USFL. A strange but true Houston sports story.

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