The Alliance of American Football, which began its inaugural season in February, could fold as early as this week, according to a report from USA TODAY Sports.
Losing millions of dollars each week and unable to secure NFL practice squad players on a loaner/minor league type of agreement, the AAF could fold as soon as this week. https://t.co/YpHqW8uxwI via @usatoday
— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) March 27, 2019
The majority owner of the AAF, Tom Dundon, told USA TODAY that the league needs young players from the National Football League, but the NFL Players’ Association will not cooperate.
“If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can’t be a development league,” said Dundon, who in February committed to invest $250 million into the league. “We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league.”
Here’s more the USAT report:
The person said the players’ union is founded on the belief that using active NFL players and practice squad members for the AAF would violate the terms of the CBA and the restrictions that prevent teams from holding mandatory workouts and practices throughout the offseason. The limitations set in place are designed to ensure the safety and adequate rest and recovery time for football players. But there’s a concern that teams would abuse their power and pehaps force young players into AAF action as a condition for consideration for NFL roster spots in the fall.
The additional concern on the NFLPA’s part is that if an NFL player played in the AAF and suffered serious injury, that player would face the risk of missing an NFL season and lose a year of accrued experience, which carries financial ramifications for players.
Last week, the AAF announced that they were moving their championship game from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Frisco, Texas. At the time it looked like a strategic move due to the involvement of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The AAF is entering their eighth week. Games scheduled for this weekend include Orlando at Memphis and San Diego at Salt Lake on Saturday, March 30, followed by Atlanta at Birmingham and Arizona at San Antonio on Sunday, March 31.
The Orlando-Memphis game was previously scheduled to be streamed via Bleacher Report Live. If the league continues through the weekend, that contest will air on TNT according to an announcement today.