It has become abundantly clear that the Alliance of American Football wants to be the NFL’s developmental league. It’s also becoming clear that the XFL will try to develop some of its own players by getting them to pass on signing with an NFL team.
PFT has learned that the XFL’s plans for staffing include targeting quarterbacks released by NFL teams when the rosters reduce from 90 to 53, persuading them to sign with the XFL on the spot, forgoing the opportunity to sign with an NFL franchise as injuries happen and other openings arise during the 2019 season.
Names that have bubbled up as possible candidates for this approach include Luke Falk and David Fales. If/when third- or fourth-string quarterbacks are released on or before the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and after they clear waivers (where applicable), they could be pursued by XFL teams on the spot, with a healthy signing bonus and/or a guaranteed salary offered in exchange for slamming the door on playing in the NFL in 2019. These quarterbacks would then participate in marketing efforts for the inaugural season while otherwise preparing to play when the XFL gets started next February.
This plan could prompt some NFL teams to consider keeping more than two quarterbacks on the final 53-man roster, ensuring that a third quarterback already will be on the roster if/when the sudden need for one emerges. And if the XFL has success when it comes to pilfering signal callers who otherwise would be waiting around for the NFL phone to ring, the NFL could eventually choose to allow teams to add a third quarterback as a 54th player, similar to the old game-day roster rules that allowed f45 players to dress along with a 46th who served as an emergency third quarterback.
However it plays out, the XFL won’t be competing with the NFL for starters, but it will be aspiring to disrupt the supply of players who otherwise would be at the bottom of the roster, or available to take those spots on a moment’s notice.