I first wrote about the new Alliance of American Football (AAF) back in March when the league was first announced. The AAF is now rapidly putting the pieces together to ensure the league kicks off February next year. The schedule has just come out and all systems are go.
The teams have now been announced and for football historians like me there are some familiar cities that are part of the new league:
Birmingham Iron – Birmingham Fire (WLAF)
Memphis Express – Memphis Showboats (USFL)
Orlando Apollos – Orlando Thunder (WLAF)
San Antonio Commanders – San Antonio Riders (WLAF)
Salt Lake Stallions
San Diego Fleet
FIRST PLAYERS SIGN WITH THE AAF
500 players have now been signed by the new league. A base salary of $250,000 over three years is the standard Alliance player contract offered to players. There will also be a comprehensive bonus system.
Financial compensation will be awarded based on a variety of metrics such as performance, win, and fan engagement. Additionally, players who make final rosters will be offered postsecondary education assistance and health and wellness benefits.
Alliance teams will have players allocated based on where they competed in college. If a player’s college is outside the Alliance footprint, he will be allocated based on his most recent NFL/CFL team.
If a player’s college is outside the Alliance allocation footprint and he did not play in the NFL or CFL, he will be considered unallocated. The player will available to be tendered a contract by any Alliance team. If a player signs with the Alliance and is then offered a contract to play in the NFL, the player will be granted permission to pursue that opportunity.
CFL LOSE THEIR NUMBER ONE DRAFT CHOICE TO THE AAF
The Canadian Football League’s number one draft pick this year for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, wide receiver Matt Chapman, has signed with the Salt Lake Stallions. Chapman had been on the Denver Broncos’ roster but was let go when the NFL’s final roster cuts were made before the season started. Details can also be found on NinetyNineYards.
Is this a sign of things to come? Will the CFL suffer as players who don’t make the NFL turn to the AAF and don’t want to move north? There are interesting and exciting times ahead for football and the fans watching the pieces come together.
AAF logos courtesy of AAF.com.