Canadian offensive lineman Brett Boyko signed with the Alliance of American Football instead of the CFL because it made for an easier pathway back to the NFL.
“That was the reason why I decided to do the AAF…what it offers that’s better than the CFL in its own right is that you can play in this league and still go to the NFL without missing any time,” Boyko said on 620 CKRM The SportsCage.
“I have nothing but respect for the CFL, it’s a great game, I love watching the CFL, I still watch it. But when you make that trigger point to go to the CFL, you are basically missing out on an NFL season. Where as this way you can do the AAF and then still hopefully get on with an NFL roster.”
Boyko has spent parts of four seasons in the NFL with the Eagles and Chargers after going unselected in the 2015 draft. The 6-foot-7 offensive lineman, has spent most of his NFL time on practice squads. He played in one regular season contest in 2017.
“You look at the NFL on a whole and sometimes it’s luck here or there, the right opportunity. The majority of the guys in this league have all bounced around,” Boyko said.
After signing an NFL undrafted free agent contract in 2015, Boyko fell to the third round in the CFL Draft when the B.C. Lions chose him 19th overall. Boyko was the top rated prospect in his CFL class.
By putting his name on paper with the San Diego Fleet all NFL options remain possible: should any NFL club want to bring Boyko in he can go due to the out clause in AAF contracts. The timing of the AAF season played a role as Boyko could play the 2018 AAF schedule and hope to earn another NFL shot without missing an entire year.
“The competition is pretty good so far,” Boyko said.
“We got a pretty good home crowd, especially we’ve played in other places, and it’s probably tops for the whole AAF. The people are pumped to have football back here.”
There was speculation Johnny Manziel could sign with San Diego, but Boyko didn’t hear much buzz about it in the locker room.
“I heard one or two players say ‘I heard he’s out of the CFL, maybe he’ll come to the Alliance’,” Boyko said.
“Other than that there hasn’t been much more communication about it.”