NFL directed teams not to discuss employment with XFL players

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When the XFL suspended operations last week, it authorized players to sign with NFL teams. The NFL, however, has told its teams not to do that.

A memo distributed to all NFL teams on Tuesday, a copy of which PFT obtained, explains that teams were notified on March 12 “that they were not permitted to discuss possible employment with players under contract to the XFL,” and that this “prohibition remains in effect.” The memo also explains that the NFL currently is working with the XFL to finalize procedures to permit NFL teams to sign XFL players.

The XFL’s position is that its players will be released from their contracts if a “credible contractual offer” is made by an NFL or CFL team, and if the offer is submitted to the XFL. Obviously, that’s not good enough for the NFL to give its teams the green light to sign players like Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker (pictured) or other XFL standouts from a five-week season that ended amid the many sports cancellations prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The league’s current position represents the mirror image of last year’s situation that unfolded in the aftermath of the implosion of the AAF. After initially authorizing its players to leave for the NFL or the CFL, the AAF slammed the brakes on an exodus, taking the position that the contracts represented league assets. Eventually, the AAF allowed its former players to sign elsewhere.

7 responses to “NFL directed teams not to discuss employment with XFL players

  1. This doesn’t make any sense, what does the NFL have to lose by signing these guys. It was like the XFL gave them five free weeks of try-outs and a bunch of game tape. Quite a few of the XFL guys are pretty good players.

  2. I know many of the XFL players have NFL experience, but making available the entire XFL to the supplemental draft seems a fair way to do business. There’s probably a dozen or so guys worthy of using picks on and the rest can sign as FAs like all the other undrafted rookies.

  3. kcbosch says: “This doesn’t make any sense, what does the NFL have to lose by signing these guys”

    These guys are still under contract with the XFL. If they want a NFL tryout, they need to be RELEASED from their current obligations FIRST.

  4. bob3339 says: “Shame on the NFL.”

    Says someone who doesn’t UNDERSTAND the situation. HINT: Instead of blaming the “big, bad NFL”, look at what the XFL HASN’T done yet to give these players their freedom…

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