San Diego’s Alliance of American Football franchise will start play in February of 2019. Now we have a decent idea of how the roster will be constructed and there’s a distinct possibility that it will have quite the San Diego influence.
This is a little technical so hang with me for a minute. Each of the eight AAF franchises will build their teams through a three-phase system:
- Phase 1: College Selection
- Phase 2: Professional Selection
- Phase 3: Open Selection
College selection will be geographically based. The San Diego franchise will have the first choice of available players from the following schools:
- San Diego State
- University of San Diego
- Fresno State
- San Jose State
- U.C. Davis
- Cal Poly
- Sacramento State
- Azusa Pacific
- Humboldt State
Players who went to high school in San Diego County are featured on the rosters of just about all of those schools. The AAF is trying to build a team that is easily and quickly accepted by fans and filling the roster with players from that region is one way of doing that.
Now, what if a player went to a school that is not under the umbrella of any of the existing AAF franchises? More on that in a second.
The next phase is grabbing players that have experience with the National Football League and Canadian Football League teams. This is also based on location. The San Diego team will get right of first refusal on anyone who spent time with the Rams, Chargers, Raiders, and for some reason Lions of the NFL and the British Columbia Lions of the CFL.
After that, if any players are left over that are not able to be claimed based on where they went to school, they are free agents and able to sign with any AAF franchise.
The AAF also revealed its salary and contract structure. Alliance players will sign three-year deals with a minimum base salary of $250,000 per year. On top of that, there will be the ability to earn bonuses based on performance, wins, and fan engagement.
The league believes it’s possible for some players to have their bonuses surpass their base salary. The AAF also plans on offering players assistance with post-graduate classwork if they choose to work towards another college degree.
The eight cities that comprise the inaugural season of the AAF are San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Birmingham, Atlanta, Memphis, and Orlando. The Alliance of American Football player evaluation process will begin on August 4 when the first of four scouting combines is held in Los Angeles.