As the FXFL tries to become the kind of developmental league with which the NFL may eventually partner, a former NFL player will be co-owning one of the league’s new teams.
Former Pro Bowler Tommie Harris will co-own the team to be based in Austin, Texas, according to the Associated Press. Former NFL defensive back Eric Bassey will own the team with Harris.
The idea of eventually partnering with the NFL makes sense, but only if the NFL can find a way to make plenty of money and to advance its broader objectives. Unless the partner can make more money with the NFL getting a large piece of the pie than it can without doing business with the NFL, there’s no reason to partner with the league.
The best way to get the league’s attention would be to create a product that the league regards as a threat, either to its own plans for a developmental league or to the NFL itself. Even then, there’s no guarantee that partnership would be the league’s preferred outcome. The NFL could simply decide to crush the FXFL.
Of course, before the NFL would be tempted to destroy the FXFL, the FXFL would first have to avoid destroying itself. Despite the popularity of pro football, no alternative league has been able to survive for very long since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970.