There is yet another spring football league trying to start up in the United States and it looks to have as much credibility as previous attempts (which is to say, not very much.)
Things got off to a rather inauspicious start this afternoon when Sirius XM NFL Radio fired off this Tweet:
BREAKING: The NFL will have a spring league starting in the spring of 2017, structured around four squads of veteran free agent players
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) December 22, 2016
An NFL-affiliated league – which is under discussion – would be something to be taken very seriously. But today’s report was quickly refuted.
Head of NFL Football Ops @TroyVincent23 says Spring League “is not ours.” NFL will discuss its proposals at pro bowl, senior bowl, combine
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 22, 2016
Instead, the new entity would appear to be The Spring League – a four-team exhibition showcase for 160 players playing six games. It would cost players $350 just to apply, earning them a tryout. Players who are ultimately selected would receive housing and a “per diem” but no actual salary.
The league is reportedly backed by the same group that ran the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) in 2014 and 2015, ultimately collapsing mid-way through their second season.
At least they got off the ground. The most recent attempt, Major League Football, went so far as to draft players – including quarterback Dan LeFevour – but ultimately “postponed” their launch (they were subsequently hit with an eviction notice on their Florida headquarters.) Other would-be leagues over the years include World Football League, the United States Football League, the XFL and United Football League (all of which lasted less than five years.)
From a CFL perspective, a viable spring league could potentially compete for talent, hurting the quality of the Canadian game and if the NFL ever decides to get involved, there could be cause for concern. The Spring League, however, would appear to pose little to no threat.
The new spring league looks like ass.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) December 22, 2016