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NFLPA might end the AAF as early as this weekend

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The AAF is bluffing, they want more players available but what the NFLPA to take responsibility if they get hurt, not going to happen! Does anyone REALLY believe that if the practice squad players are available that suddenly the league would be better?

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I don't see how the AAF has survived this long. Watching an AAF game is almost as exciting as watching three straight hours of a home shopping channel. They're certainly not filling a lot of seats (although the TV cameras are careful not to pan the stands), and now they're having to compete with March Madness and the start of the MLB season for the TV audience.  

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1 hour ago, HarryTheCat said:

I don't see how the AAF has survived this long. Watching an AAF game is almost as exciting as watching three straight hours of a home shopping channel. They're certainly not filling a lot of seats (although the TV cameras are careful not to pan the stands), and now they're having to compete with March Madness and the start of the MLB season for the TV audience.  

 

And... the NFLPA will not allow practice squad players to compete in AAF play... etc...

 

which means AAF attempt to be the triple A of the NFL is failing fast...

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7 hours ago, ColtsBlueFL said:

 

And... the NFLPA will not allow practice squad players to compete in AAF play... etc...

 

which means AAF attempt to be the triple A of the NFL is failing fast...

The NFL already has a AAA league -- they just call it by different names, like the SEC, B1G, etc. When your "stars" are last-gasp retreads like Trent Richardson and Johnny Football, your "league" is a joke. 

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4 hours ago, HarryTheCat said:

The NFL already has a AAA league -- they just call it by different names, like the SEC, B1G, etc. When your "stars" are last-gasp retreads like Trent Richardson and Johnny Football, your "league" is a joke. 

 

At least in the AAF the kids (especially those that aren't stars because they need developing) get taught NFL schemes, techniques, and principles by NFL coaches.  Some kids just take longer (and end up unsigned or on a practice squad) to develop and real NFL teams coaches don't have the practice time or roster slots allowed to do the job. Why even Bill Belichick remarked he was still installing the playbook for starters when the season had already started last year.

 

There were/are plenty of players that came from the CFL because they weren't good enough to make an NFL roster initially, and improved in Canada. The AAF wants to tap the unsigned players college market before the CFL if they can, and NFL practice squad players (the big holdup). Yes, there are some retreads, possibly (mostly?) for 'marketing' and name brand recognition.  Rosters-

 

https://tinyurl.com/yykryx4s

 

The NFL regional combines combined with solid AAF play might get a kid another look.  Wasn't many here infatuated with Bug Howard?  He's just one (D'Joun Smith another, etc...) on an AAF team trying to 'get better' and maybe make a team (Practice squad even).

 

https://www.nflregionalcombines.com/

 

Many college kids aren't taught everything to be NFL ready, they are taught to win for their school using college schemes (Air Raid, etc...). NFL coaches have had to meet with college coaches and incorporate some of their philosophies because the SEC, ACC, Big whatever conferences do not run pro sets, by and large.  The AAF just wants to be able to have NFL team practice squad players get on board, get some extra pay, devleop further, and strengthen both the AAF and NFL.

 

"Polian said preliminary talks between the AAF and NFLPA were underway in determining whether the Alliance could land current NFL players -- namely, practice squad players, of which there are more than 300 -- for future spring seasons. This would allow the AAF to bring in NFL-caliber players and develop them so they would be in better shape and more prepared in time for training camps in the summer. "

 

The NFLPA has reservations about PS players getting hurt, and it violating the current NFL/NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.  If AAF is having issues, how is the XFL going to survive next year?

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I keep saying you can't really do minor league football.  It's just not going to work.

 

Minor league baseball works because the teams arn't expensive to run.  So they can live off just having a local crowd in small and medium sized cities.  They don't need a national TV audience.

 

Football is a very expensive sport, there is no getting around that.  

 

Think of it this way.  Turn on an AAF game, look at every person on the field, the players the refs, the coaches, the ball boys. . . everyone.  And think all of those guys are drawing a paycheck.   

 

That's a lot of paychecks. . . if you are going to do that you need full stadiums and a big national TV audience.  The AAF doesn't have that.  After the novelty of it, people stopped caring.  

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These leagues should good full "NFL minor league mode" and play that Saturday during the NFL season. Teams would put their practice squad players on them and be able to call them up if needed. Not to mention the un-claimed players would be available for teams to take as well. The league would have a lot more creditability if some players had their teams symbol on the back of their helmets..

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13 minutes ago, ColtJax said:

These leagues should good full "NFL minor league mode" and play that Saturday during the NFL season. Teams would put their practice squad players on them and be able to call them up if needed. Not to mention the un-claimed players would be available for teams to take as well. The league would have a lot more creditability if some players had their teams symbol on the back of their helmets..

 

The problem with that is the NFL players association isn't letting that happen.   Yet...

 

Thomas Dundon (majority) finances the AAF league and says it might close shop.  However, he's a poor negotiator.  Bill Polian is much better, and football smart.  I hear he is in talks with the NFLPA about changing some items in the CBA to allow PS players the chance to play/learn in the AAF in the future.

 

We'll see what transpires.

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I thought this league just might work since it was competing with the NFL, but trying to work with it to develop young players.  Oh well, it was a nice stop gap for a few weeks, but once the free agency period started, then I started paying less attention to the AAF.  Thought the name was awkward, too.  Much better as the AFA (American Football Alliance).

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On 3/29/2019 at 8:48 AM, Mel Kiper's Hair said:

Now Trent Richardson will have to go back to his job at Burger King!

 

giphy.gif

 

Don't order onion rings there then if he's working. With his vision, "spitting on your onion rings" might become a reality. :) 

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'Perception inside the AAF is that Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon bought a majority stake in the league simply for the gambling app being developed.'

Source: "Dundon got the technology he wanted and he's now minus one rather large headache."

 

Steve Spurrier-

 

“Everyone was led to believe that the Alliance was well funded, and we could play three years without making any money and this, that and the other,” Spurrier said, via the Orlando Sentinel. “Obviously, everything that was said was not very truthful.”

 

Yes, there are businesses and business people out there just like this. (fortunately I've never been employed by such types), and this speculation wouldn't surprise me at all.

 

I feel bad for the many employees (especially big time folks that left lucrative jobs to drive this, IE: Phil Savage, etc...).  I think there is tape on a few players that will get them a camp invite...

 

I wonder if another investor steps in, or they sell some assets to the XFL?

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I can't say that I'm surprised by this. There have been several attempts at a second football league, but there hasn't been a successful one since the old AFL. They just didn't put a quality product on the field, and with only a couple of notable exceptions, the QB play was just awful. And then they had to go and "take the foot out of football" by eliminating the kickoff and the 1-point conversion. It just wasn't the same game. 

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On 4/1/2019 at 9:24 AM, ColtJax said:

These leagues should good full "NFL minor league mode" and play that Saturday during the NFL season. Teams would put their practice squad players on them and be able to call them up if needed. Not to mention the un-claimed players would be available for teams to take as well. The league would have a lot more creditability if some players had their teams symbol on the back of their helmets..

They would get super low ratings competing with NCAA football

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One day a start up league will be smart and be an official NFL developmental league. It's tough to get NFL player since even a practice squad player would be risking an NFL career with an NFL paycheck to play. But if NFL sponsored teams have NFL allotted player it would make it much more interesting for the fans and bring in higher ratings..

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7 minutes ago, ColtJax said:

One day a start up league will be smart and be an official NFL developmental league. It's tough to get NFL player since even a practice squad player would be risking an NFL career with an NFL paycheck to play. But if NFL sponsored teams have NFL allotted player it would make it much more interesting for the fans and bring in higher ratings..

The NFL already has a developmental league that has thousands of players.

It's called college.

Plus it is at no cost at all to the NFL.

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1 hour ago, crazycolt1 said:

The NFL already has a developmental league that has thousands of players.

It's called college.

Plus it is at no cost at all to the NFL.

 

It's also insufficient.

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32 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

It's also insufficient.

Like anything else has worked?  Getting a player here and there into the NFL is not worth the cost of running these so called developmental leagues.

The only one that was somewhat successful was NFL Europe.

There are quite a few semi pro leagues across America and Canada and yet there are no players who have the talent for the NFL that has come out of these leagues.

If the NFL wants to develop more players they have to add the number of players (and staff) to practice squads for each team. Let the teams develop the players themselves.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, crazycolt1 said:

Like anything else has worked?

 

That's not the point.

 

Quote

 

Getting a player here and there into the NFL is not worth the cost of running these so called developmental leagues.

The only one that was somewhat successful was NFL Europe.

There are quite a few semi pro leagues across America and Canada and yet there are no players who have the talent for the NFL that has come out of these leagues.

 

 

Neither is that. If the Alliance was closely aligned with and working in cooperation with the NFL, there's no reason it couldn't work as a developmental league, with some logistical adjustments.

 

Quote

If the NFL wants to develop more players they have to add the number of players (and staff) to practice squads for each team. Let the teams develop the players themselves.

 

That's the spirit! An actual suggestion, rather than blanket cynicism. 

 

I agree, the NFL should expand practice squads, roster sizes, make it easier to move players between the active roster and the practice squad, and lighten up on the offseason restrictions, especially for younger players. More roster flexibility and time with young players would help with player development across the board.

 

But there's nothing like live bullets. That's what a minor/developmental league provides that changes to roster sizes, practice squads and practice rules would not. 

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2 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

Like anything else has worked?  Getting a player here and there into the NFL is not worth the cost of running these so called developmental leagues.

The only one that was somewhat successful was NFL Europe.

There are quite a few semi pro leagues across America and Canada and yet there are no players who have the talent for the NFL that has come out of these leagues.

If the NFL wants to develop more players they have to add the number of players (and staff) to practice squads for each team. Let the teams develop the players themselves.

 

 

 

AAF was working fine, from a football standpoint.  There were real NFL coaches teaching real NFL techniques.  And the players got practice and game time in development.  But teams were burning through the cash. Dundon saw no way to get more fans and TV deals without the NFL buying in to a degree, and/or taking it on as a development league.  The CBA currently doesn't allow coaches time to instruct their stars, let alone the practice squad guys.

 

AAF was not feasible from a financial view.  XFL will be.  Vince McMahon will fuel it with a quarter billion dollars over 1st year and 1/2 billion over three years-

 

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/23947732/vince-mcmahon-expects-spend-close-500-million-xfl

 

https://xflnewshub.com/xfl-news/mcmahon-sells-millions-shares/

 

But will the XFL devleop NFL type players? Not sure.  But Don Yee and Ed McCaffery are starting the Pacific Pro league for high school kids coming right out of high school to go right to paid pro type ball and develop for a chance to enter the NFL at some point.  That might be the start of a development league at some point.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Superman said:

I agree, the NFL should expand practice squads, roster sizes, make it easier to move players between the active roster and the practice squad, and lighten up on the offseason restrictions, especially for younger players. More roster flexibility and time with young players would help with player development across the board.

 

But there's nothing like live bullets. That's what a minor/developmental league provides that changes to roster sizes, practice squads and practice rules would not. 

That falls into the laps of the CBA.  The players and union vote for less work with more pay.

Without the work the players don't develop.

Colleges supply players with what you call live bullets. There are plenty of players coming out of college that would develop if the teams had the ability to do so.

10 players per team is not close enough to develop players under the CBA rules.

IMO if the NFL wants a development league they could do it in house so to say.

The NBA has their own G league and over 50% of NBA players have developed in that league.

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49 minutes ago, crazycolt1 said:

That falls into the laps of the CBA.  The players and union vote for less work with more pay.

Without the work the players don't develop.

Colleges supply players with what you call live bullets. There are plenty of players coming out of college that would develop if the teams had the ability to do so.

10 players per team is not close enough to develop players under the CBA rules.

IMO if the NFL wants a development league they could do it in house so to say.

The NBA has their own G league and over 50% of NBA players have developed in that league.

 

Ultimately, the finer details in the CBA that restrict player movement and stunt development (IMO) are the same issues that prevented the Alliance from working more closely with the NFL. But player development has been an issue in the NFL for decades now, long before the current CBA restricted offseason practice time.

 

But I think the Alliance serves as proof of concept that a minor/developmental league could work, if it's partnered properly. To whatever extent the NFL needs to be involved -- whether the league needs to run the minor league, which I don't think so, or if they just need to provide players the opportunity to play in it without restriction or coercion -- if they straightened that out, a minor league could work.

 

Back to the college system, it's inadequate, and we have tons of evidence showing just how inadequate it is. The biggest issue is the NCAA and the dilemna of the "student athlete." Taking those elements out of the equation by establishing a minor league would make for much more effective player development. There's also the fact that college programs aren't interested in grooming players for the NFL; they ask their players to do things that NFL teams don't want, don't need, and can't use.

 

I'll give you an example to illustrate why a developmental league would help: Team A drafts an OL in the middle rounds, he comes to the NFL, but he's obviously not physically ready, he deals with minor injuries that affect his offseason/camp, they keep him on the 53 man roster throughout the season, but he basically never plays. He gets healthy by the end of the season, but the team isn't going to throw him out there as they're getting ready for the playoffs, so he continues to sit idle at the end of the bench. Year 2, the team really doesn't know what they have, and the player hasn't actually played a game in a year and a half. Do they bring him back, or find an established player at that position?

 

If that player wants to play for a minor league team from February to April, get some live reps against grown man competition, then come back for the team's offseason program, how much more development would he have? How much more info would the team have to determine whether he can actually play? 

 

I've just described the Colts situation with Khaled Holmes after 2013. Except the Colts couldn't just send him back to USC after his rookie year to get more reps.

 

This is just one of the gaps that exists in the college-to-pro system, and it would be patched up with a real minor league in the offseason where young players could get more time to get themselves ready for the NFL. This is why baseball players go play winter ball, why the NBA has Summer League, etc. There's a developmental gap between college football and the NFL, and you only have rookies under contract for four years, and you can't work with them in the offseason, and you can't actually practice until camp. I think the system is begging for something like the Alliance, and it would ultimately make NFL football much better.

 

Also, I haven't even touched on the developmental aspects relating to coaching and officiating.

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9 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Ultimately, the finer details in the CBA that restrict player movement and stunt development (IMO) are the same issues that prevented the Alliance from working more closely with the NFL. But player development has been an issue in the NFL for decades now, long before the current CBA restricted offseason practice time.

 

But I think the Alliance serves as proof of concept that a minor/developmental league could work, if it's partnered properly. To whatever extent the NFL needs to be involved -- whether the league needs to run the minor league, which I don't think so, or if they just need to provide players the opportunity to play in it without restriction or coercion -- if they straightened that out, a minor league could work.

 

Back to the college system, it's inadequate, and we have tons of evidence showing just how inadequate it is. The biggest issue is the NCAA and the dilemna of the "student athlete." Taking those elements out of the equation by establishing a minor league would make for much more effective player development. There's also the fact that college programs aren't interested in grooming players for the NFL; they ask their players to do things that NFL teams don't want, don't need, and can't use.

 

I'll give you an example to illustrate why a developmental league would help: Team A drafts an OL in the middle rounds, he comes to the NFL, but he's obviously not physically ready, he deals with minor injuries that affect his offseason/camp, they keep him on the 53 man roster throughout the season, but he basically never plays. He gets healthy by the end of the season, but the team isn't going to throw him out there as they're getting ready for the playoffs, so he continues to sit idle at the end of the bench. Year 2, the team really doesn't know what they have, and the player hasn't actually played a game in a year and a half. Do they bring him back, or find an established player at that position?

 

If that player wants to play for a minor league team from February to April, get some live reps against grown man competition, then come back for the team's offseason program, how much more development would he have? How much more info would the team have to determine whether he can actually play? 

 

I've just described the Colts situation with Khaled Holmes after 2013. Except the Colts couldn't just send him back to USC after his rookie year to get more reps.

 

This is just one of the gaps that exists in the college-to-pro system, and it would be patched up with a real minor league in the offseason where young players could get more time to get themselves ready for the NFL. This is why baseball players go play winter ball, why the NBA has Summer League, etc. There's a developmental gap between college football and the NFL, and you only have rookies under contract for four years, and you can't work with them in the offseason, and you can't actually practice until camp. I think the system is begging for something like the Alliance, and it would ultimately make NFL football much better.

 

Also, I haven't even touched on the developmental aspects relating to coaching and officiating.

The bottom line is the owners want developed players but they don't want to foot the bill.

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, crazycolt1 said:

The bottom line is the owners want developed players but they don't want to foot the bill.

 

Yet it was the players' union that argued for offseason practice restrictions...

 

And when has the NFL or its owners ever said they don't want a developmental league?

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8 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Yet it was the players' union that argued for offseason practice restrictions...

 

And when has the NFL or its owners ever said they don't want a developmental league?

I agree that the players union negotiating less work had a negative effect on the development of players no doubt.

The owners and the NFL have the money to start their own development league if they wanted to.

All it would take is the owners and the NFLPA to work it out.

Keep it in house for both.

 

 

 

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