The Alliance of American Football wanted Colin Kaepernick, but it seems his reported asking price may have been just a bit unrealistic. While the new football league has gone through just one week of action, it was an overall success that drew a decent audience and provided a quality product. But the latest rumors on the situation with Kaepernick and the league are surprising if true.
As Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk revealed, the AAF’s co-founder Bill Polian told Lindsay Jones of The Athletic that CEO Charlie Ebersol reached out to Kaepernick about the league. The obvious hope was that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback would have interest in returning to the field. Polian stated that he doesn’t know “what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing.”
Part of the issue may have been salary, according to the latest report. As Barry Wilner of the Associated Press reported, Kaepernick wanted $20 million or more to play in the AAF.
A person with knowledge of the conversation tells The Associated Press that the new Alliance of American Football spoke with Colin Kaepernick during its development about joining the league.
But Kaepernick wanted $20 million or more to consider playing with the league that had its debut last weekend.
If this was the case, that mark wasn’t even within striking distance of what players make, as even the highest-paid players are all started on the same scale, but their bonuses vary. Even with any bonuses, though, it’s still not even in the same ballpark.
Alliance of American Football Salaries
Back in July when the league began to take shape, the contract structures were made public by ESPN’s Darren Rovell. As he revealed, each player signed a three-year, non-guaranteed deal that is worth $250,000. They also receive health insurance and an education stipend.
Salaries will be in line with AAF competitor the XFL, which has said it will pay players an average of $75,000 per season. That league launches in 2020.
Polian said a contract will include state-of-the-industry health insurance and an education stipend to any player who completes a year in the league.
Obviously, the reported $20 million number is almost unbelievable, to the point that many are having a hard time believing it’s true. It’s not surprising, as CBS Sports Radio revealed the contract structures pay $70,000 in year one, $80,000 in the second season and $100,000 in the final season of the contract.
Additional Perks & Salary for AAF Players
The new league has taken a unique structure to give players bonuses of sorts as well. Ebersol addressed these with CBS Sports Radio, and it includes things such as players making money for being picked on a fantasy football team or if they get selected for a bet.
“We have built a digital platform that is the most robust in professional sports, which allows players to be bonus-ed off of fan interaction. So if a fan picks a player on a fantasy platform or in a bet – and you’ll be able to have in-game betting on our platform – the players actually make money on top of their regular-season salary, which is as high or just short of the NFL practice-squad salary. They’ll be able to make money every time they get picked on a fantasy team, every time they get picked on a bet, every time a fan likes them on Facebook.”
Beyond that, there are additional bonuses that can stem from involvement in the community or a great performance on the field.