Under what were reported by USA Today as “informal discussions,” the NFL could eventually loan young players to the Alliance of American Football as a development strategy.
The AAF began play last month, marking the arrival of a new spring professional football league that is playing its inaugural season with eight teams. Numerous former NFL players are competing in the league’s inaugural season–for instance, running back and former first-round pick Trent Richardson has been a stand out for the Birmingham Iron–but it appears possible that players on loan from NFL organizations could compete in the AAF down the road.
USA Today reported “informal discussions” about the possibility on Wednesday. AAF co-founder and head of football Bill Polian cautioned that plenty of work would have to take place to make the idea a reality, but loaning young players–including quarterbacks–to the AAF would be a way for NFL organizations to incorporate player development into their offseasons. More from USA Today:
“The talk is ramping up – I’ll say that,” Polian said.
Polian there have been no formal talks, “but lots of NFL people have bandied about that thought with lots of us.”
The idea would be for NFL teams to assign their No. 3 quarterback and other players from the bottom half of their roster and developmental squads to gain more playing time under quality coaches. The AAF has several proven name coaches, including Steve Spurrier, Mike Singletary, Rick Neuheisel and Mike Martz….
“As a broadcaster for almost 20 years, and talking to (NFL) coaches, one of the things they have been frustrated with on this latest CBA is the reduction of meeting time and practice time,” San Antonio Commanders general manager Daryl Johnston said. “They just don’t think the guys are getting enough repetition.”
With talks having not entered the formal stages, there is not a clear sense of whether the idea will come to fruition and the timeline for when it could be implemented. Still, this possibility will be one to keep an eye on, especially as the AAF plans for future seasons and NFL organizations explore offseason development opportunities for younger players.
Image courtesy The Alliance.