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Time is Now for Minor League Football

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Michael Pallas  Aug 8th, 2019

Alliance of American Football was a good idea, but it targeted the wrong players.

Minor League Baseball can trace its history back to 1901. The NFL is about to enter its centennial season, and they need to create a minor league as well, but with a twist. This minor league will not be teams affiliated with NFL franchises.

The AAF was a good concept, and the National Football League should create a minor league with that model, with the exception that it should be with 18-23-year-olds (college-age players). These teams will not be affiliated with NFL franchises, but it will be funded — initially — by the league, and teams will play in NFL stadiums.

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The NCAA amateurism rules are a joke, and it’s time we correct that by giving the players an option. They can play college football if they want, but in this league, they will still be eligible to enter the NFL Draft in the third or fourth year following high school graduation. They will make money — no more than $75,000 — and, like with the AAF, for every season played in minor league football they will earn a one-year college scholarship.

Any player that has eligibility left that chooses to enter the NFL Draft and is subsequently cut can return to the league for more seasoning. However, that player is no longer draft-eligible and is an NFL free agent.

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Their NFL dreams don’t have to end after their fifth year in minor league football, though. If they complete five years of minor league football, they automatically become NFL free agents, and they can sign with any team of their choosing, or go to school and earn a degree.

Imagine your favorite NFL team drafting a player with three or four years of professional football experience — or even signing a free agent who’s under 25 with five years pro experience. Imagine them coming from a place where their entire focus was on football and not football plus school. Imagine being able to enhance their growth by providing them with NFL-like coaching and an NFL-like practice schedule before entering the league. It would be a win-win for the NFL, NFL fans, and the players.

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