San Antonio’s new professional football team could bring some fan-favorite former Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, and other local talent to the Alamo City.
The Alliance of American Football released the league’s player allocation system, and San Antonio fans could be set to see some familiar faces from the Big XII, SEC, and other college conferences with Texas teams.
The first phase of player allocation is dictated by which college a player attended.
That means if former fan-favorites who played at the listed schools enter the AAF, San Antonio will have the first chance to sign them. From high profile players like Johnny Manziel or more low-key players who didn’t get a chance after leaving schools like UTSA, San Antonio’s AAF player pool is deep at the college level.
The second phase of allocation is decided by the player’s most recent NFL or CFL team.
San Antonio’s professional pool includes players who were most recently signed to the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, or CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. If any player isn’t signed by the team who holds their college region rights, San Antonio would have a chance at them.
As an extremely unlikely example, if the AAF team who has the rights to University of Florida’s former players declined to take Tim Tebow, San Antonio would have the first chance at the former Philadelphia Eagles QB.
While this system does put some connection to the Cowboys and Texans, most players who make it to the NFL will likely be picked up by their college region in the first phase of allocation.
Making the player’s college team the first phase of allocation does interesting things to the regions. Birmingham for example should have access to the gold mine of Alabama Crimson Tide players, however many of those top-tier athletes will end up signing with the NFL, helping to level the playing field in the extremely talented southeastern United States regions.
San Antonio’s ability to pick up players from schools like Houston or UTSA may not seem to balance with teams who can choose from Georgia or Florida State, but the departure of top-tier players to the NFL could help keep things even across the AAF.
San Antonio and Birmingham will be joined by Atlanta, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake, and San Diego in the league’s first year. Players who do not fit into any of the specified regions will be able to sign in the third phase of allocation, open selection. This could play deeply into northern and midwestern schools specifically.
ESPN reports that players will be awarded three-year contracts worth $250,000, meaning despite the league’s short season many athletes could make their AAF gig a full-time job and still live comfortably in cities like San Antonio. For players who just miss making the jump from UTSA to the NFL in particular, staying in the Alamodome after college seems like a dream of a backup plan.
The AAF kicks off their inaugural season February 2019 and will include San Antonio’s currently-unnamed team playing in the Alamodome.