The average XFL player won’t be in for a major payday when play begins in February 2020, according to a report on Friday.
League executives informed agents that XFL players will earn an average salary of $55,000, according to a memo obtained by Pro Football Talk. The total purportedly includes base pay, and bonuses for active roster status and victories for players under contract from Dec. 4, when players become full-time XFL employees, through the end of the season on May 31, 2020.
At present, it’s unclear if player contracts will be determined by a standardized pay scale or if certain players will be eligible for bigger salaries. The league has yet to address how much players will be paid or the proposed duration of contracts.
XFL representatives did not respond to a request for comment on the memo and player salaries.
At an average salary of $55,000, XFL players would be paid much less than their peers in the NFL, which set a minimum salary of $495,000 for the 2019 season. The short-lived Alliance of American Football, which collapsed earlier this year after less than one season of play due to financial difficulties, signed all of its players to three-year, $250,000 contracts, but nearly missed payroll on at least one occasion.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon rebooted the XFL after a previous incarnation of the springtime football league folded in 2001. For its 2001 season, the original XFL paid its players a base salary of $45,000 for a 10-game season, with slight variations based on position.
Regular-season games featured a $100,000 bonus pool that was divided among players on the winning team. Players on the championship-winning Los Angeles Xtreme split a $1 million bonus.
Making payroll has proven to be a major obstacle for past upstart football leagues. McMahon has sold hundreds of millions of dollars in WWE stock to bankroll his second attempt at establishing the XFL.
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The rebooted XFL's inaugural draft will run on Oct. 15 and 16. Roughly 1,000 players have received formal invitations to participate.