Players already opting for new American league over CFL

The Alliance of American Football League has begun poaching players from CFL.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach June Jones said the team planned to bring in two quarterbacks this week after trading Johnny Manziel to the Montreal Alouettes but the players decided they were going to try their luck with the startup AAF.

“That was the first time we had [players] say ‘I think I’m going to go to the new league,’” Jones said Tuesday.

The new league will kick off its inaugural season the week after the Super Bowl and has a TV contract with CBS. Each player will be signed to a three-year contract with a minimum base gross salary of $250,000 USD over three years and the chance to earn more. They will also have the ability to try the NFL while still under contract in addition to post-secondary education assistance as well as health and wellness benefits.

The league was founded by long-time NFL personnel man Bill Polian and appears to be a credible challenger to the CFL when it comes to recruiting players. The Canadian league has reportedly changed its rules and will allow players an NFL window before the final year of their contracts going forward.

But the AAF is already having an impact.

“It’s going to come up more with other positions but it certainly came up with quarterbacks real quick,” Jones said.