A new developmental football league plans to launch this October, under the name Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL), reports Barry Wilner of the Associated Press. Led by commissioner Brian Woods, the FXFL is not looking to compete with the NFL, but ultimately to become a developmental league for professional football.
“Our long-term goal is to establish a partnership with the NFL and we feel can do that on many platforms,” said Woods. “It would give them a way to work with younger players that they don’t currently have. We can help them train prospective NFL officials — in the NBA, every referee entering the league (in recent years) comes from NBA Developmental League. We can be a testing ground for proposed rules, too.”
The new league will start with six teams, including franchises in the New York and Boston areas and a team in Florida. The other three teams will play home games in Austin (Texas), Portland (Oregon), and Omaha (Nebraska). Games would be played mostly on Wednesday nights, to avoid overlap with either the NFL or college football.
A TV deal is also in the works, although details have yet to be released.
Apart from being a developmental league for players and referees, the league will also provide a place for experimentation with rule changes. They are already considering eliminating punts, kickoffs, and extra points from their gameplay,
The players are hoped to be recent collegiate athletes from recent draft classes, although Woods has not ruled out working with players that have left school early and are ineligible for the NFL draft. Teams would be assembled first and foremost based on regional territories, so teams would have first opportunity to sign local players. Player salaries would be $1,000 a week.