View single post by tamalie
 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 08:17 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 22nd, 2007
Posts: 5151
I don't think the NFL had any stake in the AAF. When the guy who owns the Carolina Hurricanes stepped up to pledge $70,000,000 right away and an additional $180,000,000 later, he made a big deal about the AAF getting NFL practice squad guys on to teams, looking at cost savings in the form of the NFL paying some or all of the salaries for its contracted players, perhaps some assistance from the NFL marketing machine, and more attention from media and fans due to the NFL connection. However, the NFL hasn't had any sort of league like this since NFL Europe closed down after the 2007 season and figures it isn't a pressing need because it has college football and its own practice squad program. Plus NFL teams sending guys into NFL Europe were, by the end, viewed as using the league as a holding tank for borderline guys it wanted at training camp or for fringe roster players rather than for truly developing younger players into people who could potentially start or be factors as subs and special teamers.

The other factor is the CBA between the NFL and NFLPA runs through the 2020 season and has no provision within it to provide for any assignment by NFL teams of any player, full roster, practice squad, off seaosn roster or rookie, to any minor or developmental league. To send any practice squad guy to the AAF, the NFL would need to have an allowance from the NFLPA to do so. The NFL had some talks with the AAF and was receptive in a noncommittal way and essentially told the AAF to go talk with the NFLPA about it. I assume this was because the NFL didn't want to bring up the subject with the NFLPA itself and get into any sort of preliminary CBA renewal talks or reopening of the current CBA over a topic like this when it is rightfully well down the priority list.

The AAF had some talks with the NFLPA, but came away knowing that getting any NFL practice squad players in 2019 was going to be impossible and with the collective bargaining agreement running through the 2020 NFL season, getting any practice squad players for a 2020 AAF season also was a remote possibility at best with 2021 far from guaranteed as well given the likely pace of the negotiations for the CBA. The AAF felt it could not wait until then at the earliest, so the money mark pulled out and won't put in the other $180,000,000 he was bringing to the table. Without that money, the AAF won't have the money to continue and while the NFL could put that money in itself, it has no pressing need to do so.