Although fewer details are known about the XFL’s relaunch compared to the Alliance of American Football’s debut, XFL 2.0 have an edge on the AAF when it comes to adding talent. The previous figure that’s surfaced regarding XFL salaries has been $75K, but league commissioner Oliver Luck said recently (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) that exceptional players could earn more than $200K per season. (The NFL’s 2018 league minimum is $480K for rookies.) The AAF plans to structure three-year, $250K contracts. Both the XFL and AAF plan to have outs in deals in order to allow for players to try and make NFL rosters. Length of these contracts will vary from player to player, per Luck.
Additionally, the XFL plans to move forward with its location unveilings later this year. The AAF will station teams in Atlanta, Birmingham (Ala.), Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Diego. It would stand to reason the XFL will choose other markets, but that’s not certain at this point. But this will also be an eight-team league. Both the XFL and AAF will feature 10-game seasons.
Shifting back to the NFL, here’s the latest:
- The NFL’s helmet rule has probably been the most discussed topic during the preseason slate, and the competition committee convened this week to discuss the radical change. However, the committee determined the rule will not be tweaked at this time, despite the rule enduring scrutiny from all sides. NFL executive VP Troy Vincent added (Twitter link) instant replay will not be permitted to review these calls, but the committee did review feedback from players, coaches and referees. Additional video tutorials will be provided for what may be the defining component for the 2018 season.
- Perhaps the 2016 and ’17 seasons’ defining sequences, the racial inequality-themed protests continue to spur meetings. Some NFLPA executive committee members will meet with a few owners Monday at the Giants’ facility to discuss the anthem controversy, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.
- Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken has called plays during Tampa Bay’s preseason, but Dirk Koetter will take back the reins once the regular season starts, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Koetter enters the season on one of the hottest seats in the league, and his play-calling will go a long way toward determining if the Bucs can improve and if he’ll be given a fourth season as head coach. The Bucs have ranked 18th in scoring in each of Koetter’s two HC seasons.
- Vic Fangio‘s coached pro football long enough he has USFL experience, and he had options to leave Chicago as new Bears coach Matt Nagy formed his staff. However, he returned in part because the Bears’ front office “badly” wanted him to stay, NFL reporter Adam Caplan tweets. Despite not having many household names on its 2017 unit, the Bears’ defense ranked as a top-10 group in both total and scoring defense. While Nagy and Ryan Pace made wholesale changes on offense, Fangio’s defense remains largely the same — albeit with Roquan Smith in the picture now.