The XFL Lost Its First Player Over Salary. How Does the League's Pay Stack Up Against the NFL and AAF?

XFL
The XFL has lost its first player after contract misunderstandings Tom Hauck/Getty

The XFL lost its first player on Wednesday after Corey Vereen, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Wildcats, discovered the actual amount of the league's base salary.

A statement released by Vereen's agent; Logan Brown Sports stated his reasoning for departing from the league. "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. The base salary is $27,000 with per-game active bonuses of $1,685 and weekly win bonuses of $2,222," the statement said.

According to Pro Football Talk, the average salary for XFL players was going to be $55,000 with some players making more based on their skill set. As Vereen's agent stated, this projected salary is much different from what the XFL recently told players.

The start of the XFL follows the end of another football league, the Alliance of American Football (AAF). Created by Bill Polian, a former NFL executive, the AAF was positioned to be one of the XFL's competitors as a new football league outside of the NFL.

The AAF was seen as a pathway for young players who wanted to play in the NFL. After the AAF was unable to come to an agreement with the NFL to use younger players, Tom Dundon, one of the league's major investors and control owner, decided to end the AAF.

Like the XFL, the AAF had problems with players' contracts. Prior to the start of the league, Polian said that they would be giving players three-year, non-guaranteed contracts worth $250,000 each. According to CBS Sports Radio, the AAF planned of paying their players $70,000 for their first year, $80,000 in the second and $100,000 in the third, while also including potential incentives throughout the season.

AAF players were given a weekly game check worth $7,000. But the AAF's inaugural season this year was cut short, and players were not paid for the full 10 games of the season. Since the contracts the players signed did not include guaranteed money, they were not given the remainder of their contract worth $250,000.

Both of these leagues' salaries are still lower than what a player on an NFL practice squad makes. According to SB Nation, if a player stayed on an NFL practice squad during training camp and the entire regular season, they would earn about $88,000, around $7,600 per week.

All of these amounts are also much less than the NFL minimum for a full-time player. Depending on years of experience, the league minimum starts at $495,000 and could go up to $1,030,000 with 10-plus years of experience.

Like the XFL and AAF, one of the issues concerning NFL practice squads is that players do not know how long they will be employed for. Practice squad players can be moved at any time or cut from a team at a moment's notice. Like the AAF, players assume that they will make the full amount of their contract but could see an abrupt end without warning.

It is uncertain how many more players could leave the XFL in the wake of Vereen's departure over salary.

Vereen was a defensive end for the University of Tennessee and a member of the New England Patriots' training camp two years ago.

The XFL Lost Its First Player Over Salary. How Does the League's Pay Stack Up Against the NFL and AAF? | Sports