Alliance of American Football 2019 Player Salary and 'NFL Out' Contract Clause

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - FEBRUARY 10:  Trent Richardson rushes for a touchdown against the Memphis Express during an Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on February 10, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/AAF/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/AAF/Getty Images

The inaugural Alliance of American Football season kicked off this past weekend, and for at least one week, it has been a success.

According to Action Network's Darren Rovell, the AAF went head-to-head with the NBA and outdrew the Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder clash in overnight ratings.

And while many people around the country enjoyed watching football, some may not be fully aware of the league's behind-the-scene details.

The organization consists of eight teams that play a 10-week schedule. The top four teams from the regular season will qualify for the playoffs, and the championship game is set for April 27.

AAF co-founder Bill Polian revealed to Rovell, then of ESPN, in July 2018 that players will receive three-year, non-guaranteed contracts worth $250,000. The pacts include health insurance and an education stipend for any player who registers one year of service time.

Meanwhile, players are allowed to sign with NFL teams while under contract in the AAF. Per Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, "NFL out" clauses become available from post-AAF championship game through Dec. 1 of each calendar year.

That timetable figures to work well for potential NFL prospects. The AAF season starts the week after the Super Bowl, and at least for this year, runs through the weekend of the NFL draft. Should an NFL team come calling, AAF players will essentially have as much time as a rookie to get acclimated should they sign at the beginning of the window. 

It's important to note that AAF players will not be able to officially sign with NFL franchises at the beginning of NFL free agency, which gets underway on an annual basis in March.

Florio pointed out that the "NFL out" clauses give the AAF an advantage over the Canadian Football League, which does not permit its players to leave their contracts for the NFL. The CFL did, however, reinstate an "NFL window" last July that allows players entering the final year of their contract to sign with NFL teams, although they cannot leave until after their CFL contract expires.

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