XFL player decides not to play in XFL over low XFL salary

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The concept of supply and demand will have some exceptions. For the XFL, Corey Vereen is the first one.

Vereen’s representatives have announced that the third-phase, eighth-round selection of the L.A. Wildcats in last week’s convoluted initial player draft won’t be playing in the new league because the pay is too low.

“The salary schedule did not come close to matching what was talked about rampantly throughout the XFL combine workouts and was discussed online by many different sources,” reads the statement posted online by Logan Brown Sports. “The base salary is $27,040 with per-game active bonuses of $1,685 and weekly win bonuses of $2,222.

In June 2018, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said that the average XFL player salary will land in the range of $75,000, with well-known players possibly making much more. But that was before the XFL’s main (and only) competition cratered. With the AAF out of the picture, the XFL could pay players less.

Earlier this month, agents were told that the average player salary will be in the range of $55,000. Of course, that includes the per-game active bonuses and weekly win bonuses, which obviously won’t automatic.

The real question for the XFL is whether Vereen, who played for the Memphis Express of the AAF after spending time as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots in 2017, will be the exception or the rule. More than a week after the draft, Vereen is the only player to publicly tap out. Others who both want to play football and who believe that XFL reps will enhance the possibility of an NFL opportunity will take whatever they can get. Some would probably play for free, like they all basically did in college.

Right or wrong, that’s the way American business operates. As long as all applicable minimum-wage laws are satisfied, the employer can pay as little as it wants. If enough employees are willing to work for whatever is being offered, the business will be able to operate.

Although XFL owner Vince McMahon seems to be willing to lose millions in an effort to make spring football work, that doesn’t mean he’ll waste money. Right or wrong, that’s his prerogative. And the players are free to do what Vereen did. If enough are willing to do that, McMahon will have no choice but to offer greater compensation.

33 responses to “XFL player decides not to play in XFL over low XFL salary

  1. Mixed feelings. Football can be dangerous — and you can argue that the risk to his biggest asset (health) isn’t worth the pay. That said, the NFL isn’t exactly pursuing Vereen…and there are plenty of 23-27 years-old who’ll gladly fill his spot. Even more, the XFL is a startup that hasn’t turned a buck yet. You can’t expect the league to pay anywhere near what an established enterprise does, particularly considering the high labor cost associated with a 50-man roster.

  2. You get the same amount of CTE and life-time physical pain for $55,000 a season as you do for $5,500,000.

    There are safer ways to make that kind of money and for which you don’t need an agent taking a percentage.

  3. Doesnt seem like a smart move if he is looking to play football for a living. It doesnt seem like any NFL team is banging down his door, this gives him more game tape, play time and he would be making more than he probably is/would. Just saying your active for half the games, without winning a single game he would be making about 35k for about 16 weeks at most.

  4. Agree that this is a mixed situation. It might not be worth the health risks, but then again, if I’m an NFL team considering someone, I might wonder how much that player loves and is committed to the game if they’re not willing to play for a reduced salary.

  5. I disagree that they all played for free in college. A four year scholarship to a major university can be worth upwards of $200000 or more in some cases. I get your point but it’s still not playing for free

  6. youngnoize says:
    October 24, 2019 at 6:55 pm
    There aren’t many things I’d do for that low of salary. Bashing into people definitely stands on that list.

    You’re comparing a full year salary to a 3 month salary.

  7. If I’d been lied to about how much they were paying, and I had a good non-football job, I’d be telling them to pound sand too.

    He knows how he stacked up against NFL caliber talent, and he knows where he was in the pecking order among AAF caliber talent. It sounds like he knows the dream is over, and values his health, and his time, more than he values the opportunity to play for a third-rate league.

  8. It takes money to make money and the XFL knows it. I’d like to know the average pay of Vince McMahon’s wrestlers because I assume they are higher than 55k a year. I understand trying to create a new football league will cost a TON of money and is a huge risk.

    — Right or wrong, that’s the way American business operates. As long as all applicable minimum-wage laws are satisfied, the employer can pay as little as it wants. If enough employees are willing to work for whatever is being offered, the business will be able to operate.—

    Vince McMahon might need to up his risk if he wants the reward.

  9. nels1959 says:

    October 24, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    I disagree that they all played for free in college. A four year scholarship to a major university can be worth upwards of $200000 or more in some cases. I get your point but it’s still not playing for free
    ——
    It can cost upwards of $200,000 to attend but that doesnt make it worth $200,000. If you actually graduate and do it with a degree that is actually useful in the real world then it’s worth up to $200,000 but that isnt always the case.

  10. He already played for a league that went under, and as good as the XFL looks on paper, some would be wise to wait a year and see what is real.

  11. How does Vince actually feel confident in this popup league? I will bet anyone $1,000 that this will fold by its 2nd year. Success in wrestling or not, this ain’t wrestling. Stay in your lane Vince. You will never survive the American establishment we call the NFL.

    Just wait. Wait for the gimicy gameplay

  12. Much respect! I don’t blame Corey Vereen. I wouldn’t play for that chicken feed either–especially in the heart of winter! The XFL threw a split-fingered curveball on the salaries. Other players should back out also. I’d rather do something productive with my degree or work towards getting it rather than play a professional sport for minor league wages. ABC and ESPN will pay millions to broadcast these games. Don’t cry poor out the door!

    Furthermore, the XFL should have the league start in early April instead of one week after the Super Bowl. Give us time to miss football. After a long season, even fans need an offseason, if only for a month–to miss it.

    Other XFL players, you must decide if it’s worth it to risk it all for less than you’d make in an office job. Get paid!

  13. My good friend (who died at 31 in a lot of debt) played semi-pro for years, and if anything it cost him money to play. Nobody went to the games and they were never televised. It makes me think that there will still be plenty of fellas who will be happy to play football in front of fans and also make actual money doing it

  14. Unfortunately its supply and demand, and negotiations.
    If the XFL can find people willing to play for $55,000 they will lower salaries.
    I can see playing for $55,000 for 1-2 years *IF* you think you can make the NFL.
    If not, then you are taking a huge risk.
    Play for one year while looking for a real long term job.
    I sure hope you finished your college degree.

  15. Avg pay rate is about the same as CFL players (more $ for better players). League has to try and turn a profit. Gonna be on TV plenty. If the product is decent, the money will come…if the money comes, then the players will benefit. Vince is putting his money where his mouth is, I don’t have an issue with it.

  16. kfoyo808 says:
    October 25, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Avg pay rate is about the same as CFL players (more $ for better players). League has to try and turn a profit. Gonna be on TV plenty. If the product is decent, the money will come…if the money comes, then the players will benefit. Vince is putting his money where his mouth is, I don’t have an issue with it.
    _________________

    CFL is joke money but pays at bit more than double for 1st year American players (amount 1st year is not negotiable for US players).

    Issue is, fans may resent NFL players for holding out and kneeling and getting suspended/arrested and other stuff – but they do realize that these guys are the absolute best in the world at what they do.

    Who is really going to watch lesser players? Fans want to see the best product showcasing the world’s top talent, not a “minor” league with players not at the level of the NFL.

    So, unless the XFL is going to start signing Blue chip NCAA grads and high profile UFA from the NFL – the league will fail. Fans will lose interest.

  17. If the XFL tries to get players on the cheap and the quality of play suffers then the league is just doomed just like the AAF. America loves good football not all football. If it gets the “2nd rate chumps playing” image nobody will attend the games and worse nobody will watch on tv. I think players should be allowed to fight on the field (like they do in hockey) but you cannot grab the face mask or hit a player on the ground. That would be must see tv in my world.

  18. nels1959 says:

    October 24, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    I disagree that they all played for free in college. A four year scholarship to a major university can be worth upwards of $200000 or more in some cases. I get your point but it’s still not playing for free

    See: Dexter Manley

    Just because the education is worth $200,000, doesn’t necessarily mean the player is getting a $200,000 education.

  19. At those salaries he’s never going to have any big name stars. Just wannabes, has beens and guys who should be moving from athletics as a career pursuit. If a league like this was going to be really successful the CFL would have taken off decades ago. It’s just going to be more pre season level pro football filled with guys who really don’t want to be there.

  20. We have college grads that get start with us at 35K + bonus if they earn it. They get full health benefits and a 401K that the company contributes to. Of course they are working for a full year to get that salary. They do get health benefits that seems to be ignored in this article for the XFL. Of course the risk of injury is much lower in an office environment than it is for a football player.

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