If it were that easy, everyone would do it.

For those of you in the “hey, just start a new pro league so kids don’t have to go to college” camp, The Athletic reports ($$) that, after only two weeks, the AAF needed a $250 million cash infusion or there was a good chance it was going to miss payroll last Friday.

Yeah, the NFL’s gonna jump on that kind of sweet action any day now.

27 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

27 responses to “If it were that easy, everyone would do it.

  1. DawgPhan

    Guess we should go see that Atlanta team this weekend then.

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  2. Biggus Rickus

    I don’t think anyone advocating starting a new league assumes there’s a market for it. In fact, the failure of all of these minor leagues would seem to indicate there’s a little something to the “it’s what’s on the front of the jersey” argument. Developmental leagues should function like minor league baseball, and the NFL should run them as such, but that’s not going to happen as long as they can use college football as their farm system. I can’t believe the people behind the league didn’t better understand the level of demand for minor league football. They should have sought to keep costs as low as humanly possible until they built a market for it, if they could.

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    • They should have sought to keep costs as low as humanly possible until they built a market for it, if they could.

      How do you know they haven’t? Here’s the salary structure:

      AAF players are all on three-year, $250,000 non-guaranteed contracts, and their first year’s salary starts at $70,000, per CBS Sports. Where the real money appears to be in the Alliance of American Football is with the coaches. The AAF has invested heavily in former NFL and college football coaches in an attempt to jumpstart the league.

      While the AAF coaches’ salaries have not been officially disclosed, the Sporting News reported the league was planning on paying coaches a $500,000 salary. This could be a big reason the league was able to lure coaches like Steve Spurrier out of retirement.

      AAF players will make $80,000 in the second season and $100,000 in the third year.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        I wouldn’t call $80,000 a year as low as humanly possible, especially applied to every single player.

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        • DawgPhan

          I mean you have to pay enough to get actually talented people to show up.

          I am surprised that some of these guys are doing it for $70k. A lot of these guys got NFL money at some point.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            For guys who can’t make a roster, it gives them a shot to get someone’s attention, and it allows them to play football for a decent salary. I think you could probably get away with salaries ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 for a lot of the players depending on where the team is located. And none of the cities but maybe San Diego has a particularly high cost of living. There would also be the promise of higher salaries later if the league actually builds a following.

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          • Texas Dawg

            I would suspect that for a lot of guys who did not take the education part of their scholarship seriously, this is a really good salary. If you over estimated your talent, did not make a roster (even practice squad), do not have a degree, there is not a large job marked with a potential six figure salary out there (for only a few months work out of the years). For some this is big money compared to what else is available. For others who have talent and were just at the wrong place at the wrong time, this is pretty much their only chance to showcase their talents.

            I saw this little tid bit as well “If the AAF reaches its second season, it will find itself in direct competition with a revived XFL, which is announced to begin play in 2020.” Maybe the two can be like the old NFL and AFL and have a Less Than Super Bowl to end their season.

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            • The Dawg abides

              You just described Trent Thompson. This guy was back in Albany with no degree and no real prospects. The dose of reality he got may be enough to jolt him into becoming a real NFL prospect, now that he has another chance. And I suspect he’d play for 30k.

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        • Yeah? Tell me about the market research you’ve done to support that. Maybe you should consult for the AAF. 😉

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      • Union Jack

        This is good read about the prospects of the AAF and the prospects playing for the AAF.

        https://deadspin.com/the-promise-of-the-aaf-has-been-made-and-broken-before-1832647578

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  3. Former Fan

    People don’t want to believe that college football is a monopoly. It is and it is way past time to break it up (economically speaking). Forcing the schools to actually compete for the talent will correct some of the issues fans complain about (i.e. transferring). It won’t correct the balance of power unless an ant-trust exemption and/or a union starts up. My best guess is that the NCAA will ask for an anti-trust exemption but won’t get it without making major changes to who gets the money, including smaller schools and players.

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    • Tony Barnfart

      What do you mean compete for the talent ?

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      • Former Fan

        I mean compete for them on the open market. i.e. pay em. Right now, schools pay themselves by investing in their own weight rooms, dorms, etc. These things add value to the college. Make them compete on the open market for the kids without colluding with each other and setting a false market price.

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  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Oops there goes another business plan lie.

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  5. AlphaDawg

    I seriously doubt a minor league or developmental league will ever work for professional football. There’s simply not enough talent to support a large league. I could see an NFL sponsored 2 teams per conference minor league, that plays concurrently with the normal NFL season, allowing players to be poached as needed or an expanded practice roster with some team protections for those players similar to how they currently do with international players.

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  6. You couldn’t pay me to watch minor league football … then again, you couldn’t pay me to watch the NFL.

    That will be the case whether every blue chip prospect decided to go pro rather than play in college.

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  7. FlyingPeakDawg

    AAF solutions. Hire Larry Scott…he’ll get that thing monetized with private equity money. Crowd fund. Get a bank loan. Have players Sell cookies door to door. Offer a sweepstakes. Fix the outcome of games while placing bets in Jersey.

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    • My first thought was they worked with Scott and had him do the business plan and financial projections. How in holy hell can you need a cash infusion of $250MM two weeks into the first season? Third season, I might could see a need for help if things didn’t work out, but how is this possible so early? You know they had not counted on huge ticket sales to pay the costs, it had to be based on TV revenues (which surely have been paid.)

      I am not surprised it would end up falling apart, but in the first month? Not sure I have ever seen any business flop this quickly. Yeah, I see Scott’s fingerprints on this puppy. Hope the coaches got a personal guarantee on those salaries.

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  8. Rebar

    Quite a few former dawgs in the league. Most of them are on the Atlanta team but I saw that Trenton Thompson was playing for Arizona.

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    • I watched some of those 2 games he has played in. To my untrained eye, he is even softer this year than he was at UGA. He plays too high, makes little, to zero, penetration, and gets moved back like he is roller skates. Sad to see that 5 star potential coming out of HS perform like that. I recall there were other issues with TT beyond his on the field results, not sure he yet realizes this might be a last shot for him.

      Given the OL issues with the AAFL teams, he should be capable of dominating; from what I saw he is usually not in on passing downs and sometimes pulled in running situations. We all know the correlation of highly rated recruits and success, he appears to be one of the casualties. Wake up young man, opportunities are very limited at this point.

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      • Texas Dawg

        He appears to have done at the college level what Aundray Bruce did at the pro level. He came in with unbelievable hype and potential and pissed it all away. Never became the player that he could have and should have.

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  9. Salty Dawg

    After watching these games for two weeks, I will say that the NFL is behind this big time and wants it to work. Since they want it to work, they will infuse the cash to keep it going. It’s new. It’s not perfect, but I’m willing to watch. I think the players are glad to be playing football again, want a chance to do their thing and maybe get picked up. In some cases, that would be get picked up again. They have enough players, so I assume the salary was not an issue.

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