A former franchise quarterback will add his name to the growing list of high-profile ex-NFL players, coaches and executives who will work with the Alliance of American Football.
Michael Vick‘s set to be affiliated with the AAF, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. Vick will call plays for the Brad Childress-coached Atlanta franchise.
Vick worked with Childress recently as well, serving as a coaching intern with the Chiefs during their 2017 training camp when Childress was on Kansas City’s staff. Vick last played for the 2015 Steelers. The former Falcons quarterback joins Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Jared Allen in attaching their names to the new venture.
At least one NFL team is also helping the AAF prepare for what figures to be an interesting talent-gathering period. The Bears provided the AAF’s Phoenix franchise’s GM, Phil Savage, a list of players to scout while he was at Chicago’s camp, Fowler notes. The AAF plans to primarily target players that don’t make NFL rosters this year.
Set to launch in February 2019, the eight-team league has its head coaches signed up and contract structure set at three-year, $250K agreements. The $83K-per-year contracts, which include out clauses in case an NFL team comes calling, are non-guaranteed and fall well short of NFL practice squad salaries (up to $129K for a 17-week season this season). But NFL practice squad spots will assuredly be more coveted real estate than AAF rosters next year. Although, incentives will be available in these AAF deals, and marketing and public appearances can trigger these bonuses, per Fowler. Set for a 2020 debut, the XFL is planning to pay players $75K per year, which will make for interesting bidding wars as these leagues attempt to find their footing.
NFL personnel have lamented the lack of a developmental league in the years since NFL Europe’s demise, and Fowler writes the AAF may be closer to the NBA’s G League, rather than serving as competition.
“Our objective is to take some of those people who can’t quite make it and make them into quality NFL players,” AAF exec Bill Polian said, via Fowler.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.