The Alliance of American Football is taking a different approach than some of the unsuccessful start-up leagues before them. The AAF is hoping it can complement the NFL rather than trying to taking down the billion dollar league. When does the AAF start?
The AAF is looking to take advantage of fans that are normally going through football withdrawal after the Super Bowl. The league starts on Saturday, February 9th with two games on the schedule. Atlanta and Orlando kick off at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. San Diego squares off with San Antonio at 8 p.m Eastern.
With no minor league feeding into the NFL, the AAF is hoping it can develop players, coaches and front office executives that allow it to become an asset rather than a competitor. The league will conclude on April 27th with the championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
The league also has local tie-ins for each of the eight teams, with former college players being assigned to teams near where they played. Former great Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is part of the advisory board and believes the league has a good chance to succeed.
“I don’t think you single it out as only a development league,” Tuck explained to the New York Post. “I think you’re going to have very, very quality players. But at the end of the day, we are complementary to the NFL. They’re the king show right now and for good reason.”
Alliance of American Football Teams
|Arizona Hotshots||Rick Neuheisel|
|Atlanta Legends||Brad Childress|
|Birmingham Iron||Tim Lewis|
|Memphis Express||Mike Singletary|
|Orlando Apollos||Steve Spurrier|
|Salt Lake Stallions||Dennis Erickson|
|San Antonio Commanders||Mike Riley|
|San Diego Fleet||Mike Martz|
The AAF Features a Number of Former NFL Players
The AAF had a quarterback draft to assign signal callers to the eight teams. The league assigned players based on the closest team to their college. CBS detailed the rules of the draft.
Dozens of players have already signed to the league’s eight franchises, but quarterbacks are assigned in the draft. Any quarterback already signed to the Alliance is eligible to be selected in the draft, which uses a “Protect or Pick” format. All signed quarterbacks are also allocated to the team located closest to their college or last NFL or CFL team before the draft.
The “Protect or Pick” method allows each team to either protect one quarterback that’s already been allocated or choose to draft another one. If a team elects to protect, they name the player they are protecting as their first selection in the draft, but if they decide to pick, they wait until every other team has made their decision before selecting from the remaining pool of all available quarterbacks.
The AAF players include Aaron Murray (Atlanta), Trevor Knight (Arizona), Christian Hackenberg (Memphis) and Zach Mettenberger.