With the NFL’s final roster cuts coming this Saturday up to 1,184 players from all 32 teams will be left without jobs over the weekend. A new opportunity to keep these players in the states and still in an organized professional football league will come in the form of the AAF.
The Alliance of American Football or AAF is a new professional league that will start its inaugural season the week after the NFL’s Superbowl LIII in February 2019. The AAF currently consists of 8 teams that are playing in the following cities: Atlanta GA, Birmingham AL, Memphis TN, Orlando FL, Tempe AZ, Salt Lake City UT, San Antonio TX, and San Diego CA. The AAF is not trying to be a direct competitor of the NFL, but more of a supplemental league similar to the minor leagues for the majors in baseball. Not only will the league be giving players that were undrafted/cut a second chance, but it will also be a solution to the demand for more football once the NFL season ends for fans.
Unique League Rules
First off there are no kickoffs in the AAF. Every offensive possession starts on their own 25-yard line. Onside kicks are also done away with and instead after scoring the offense can choose to take the ball on their own 35-yard line in a 4th and 10 situation. If the offense can convert, then they keep on with possession, if not the opposing team takes over on the failed conversion spot. There are no extra points after scoring; only option is going for a 2 point conversion. Replays are limited to 2 per team and are initiated by a coach’s challenge. The play clock will be 30seconds instead of the NFL standard of 40.
The AAF is advocating bringing more incentives to its players in the form of bonuses. They have a unique twist when it comes to a players performance, and can pay out incentives to players who stood out in the stat columns despite a team loss. Player contracts will be worth $250,000 each for three years non-guaranteed, and if a player is called up to the NFL, they can leave at the end of the season. The league will also offer all players post-secondary scholarships to assist with life after football. When it comes to concussion and injury protocol, the AAF will use an independent organization that will examine players.
The primary focus for the AAF on the fan experience side is making it affordable. The league is proposing a $35 “Quality Ticket.” There will be cheaper ticket options, but with the Quality Ticket fans can expect to be seated between the 20-yard lines. Focusing on the more bang for your buck experience the AAF will also be proposing valued concessions to make it more cost efficient for the family’s grabbing meals and drinks at the games. When the league launches, CBS will have the rights to broadcast all games as part of their long-term contract with the AAF. The league is wanting to have no TV timeouts and fewer commercials with an overall focus on a game-time of just 2.5 hours. The AAF will also have an Alliance app which will include integrated fantasy football, the ability to watch games streamed to the app, and also offer in-app rewards to fans.
The AAF is aiming to bring a change to the way football is experienced with fans and players. Whether or not if the league will bring new standards into the way we consume football will remain to be seen. Until then let’s sit back enjoy the fact that we will have more football once the NFL season ends.
*To reserve season tickets and more info on the AAF visit http://www.aaf.com