The XFL’s current pay scale has forced one player to already decide not to play for the inaugural league.
Ex-University Of Tennessee defensive lineman Corey Vereen, who was drafted by the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats, announced he won’t be playing for the XFL, claiming he makes more money as a software developer than he would playing for the Wildcats. It was announced to agents a week before the XFL’s October 15-16 draft that non-quarterbacks would make $2,080 bi-weekly while they are under contract, making for a max base salary of $27,040.
Players also receive a $1,685 bonus for being on an active game-day roster, as well as $2,222 for winning a game. For example, a player on a 5-5 team who plays all 10 games would earn $55,000 for the year. Quarterbacks, however, are a very different story. They will make much more, up to nearly $500,000 for the season. Speaking in a phone interview, via ESPN, Vereen said the league’s pay scale for other players was far lower than he anticipated.
Vereen was receiving a salary that would’ve reached $70,000 when he played for the Alliance of American Football (AAF) – which ultimately folded before their first season even ended. Vereen noted that he passed on some offers from the Canadian Football League and accepted a commissioner’s invitation to the XFL draft on the presumption that there would be higher salaries. The XFL reportedly declined to comment on the matter.
Also, the league did not publicly disclose salary figures prior to the draft. Vereen is a former member of the New England Patriots roster in the NFL. He played for the team in 2017 before going on to lead the AAF’s Memphis Express with four sacks in 2019.
After being drafted by the Los Angeles Wildcats in the XFL draft, Vereen informed the team he would not be signing a contract with the club.
“How are you going to sit here and get all these people together and try to get the best talent for your league and pay them $27,000?” Vereen said.
“I love the game. But I’m not going to be taken advantage of at the end of the day. I have an engineering degree. I’m a software developer. My current job makes more than that. I’m not doing that, unfortunately. It looked like a great opportunity.”
When asked if he has heard other players contemplating the same decision, Vereen responded with, “Most definitely.” Rosters are nowhere near finalized ahead of 2020 kickoff. The XFL will hold a supplemental draft close to Thanksgiving for newly eligible players, as well as for some players who will come out of college.
Current players have until December 3 to sign contracts in order to participate in minicamps. There will be a three-week training camp come January prior to kickoff on February 8. For more information regarding the XFL’s 2020 season, including the full schedule, click here.
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