Trevor Lawrence won’t be joining The Alliance.
Even if the Clemson quarterback were inclined to jump to the level of football where he could be paid, the fledgling Alliance of American Football won’t be giving him a landing spot. According to an AAF spokesman, the league will be applying the same eligibility rules as the NFL.
This means that no players will be eligible to play in the AAF until at least three years after the graduation of their high school classes.
It’s not a surprise, given that the AAF seems to be trying to position itself to be a full and complete complement to the NFL, with the apparent goal of becoming the unofficial NFL minor league. (Or, possibly, an acquisition target by the league, making it the official NFL Jr.)
This approach creates an even greater opening for the XFL to distinguish itself from the AAF. With the XFL already one year behind the AAF, luring Lawrence for the 2020 debut would be a great way to capture attention, eyeballs, dollars, etc.
At a time when Lawrence would have no viable pro alternatives, the XFL would be competing financially only with the wholesale value of an “education” that Lawrence does not need, and may not want. Besides, joining the XFL would include an opportunity for Lawrence to profit from his name and likeness, something he won’t be able to do for as long as he plays college football.
So there’s the free advice for Lawrence in a nutshell: Play college football for one more year, strike the best possible deal with the XFL for 2020, and then prepare for the 2021 draft.