It’s been a long road for the XFL since they were forced into bankruptcy just halfway through their 2020 season due to COVID. Since then we’ve seen the league purchased out of bankruptcy by a new ownership group comprised of Dany Garcia, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and RedBird Capital.
After the league was purchased, there was many months where fans didn’t hear much. That was until March of last year when news started making the rounds that the XFL was in talks with the CFL for a possible collaboration. After many months of speculation, both sides came out and announced that they were going their own ways for the time being.
Once again, the XFL went dark. Near the end of 2021 we started hearing more news from the league, kicked off by their first set of hires under the new ownership group. Kicking off 2022, co-owner Dwayne Johnson joined the Manningcast where he said that XFL news should be coming soon, specifically mentioning new team names/cities and broadcast partners.
Many weks have gone by, and the XFL is still silent. But, it looks like we have some pretty major news to report.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reports that the XFL and NFL have reached a collaboration agreement to work together on innovating rules, officiating, safety and more.
NEWS: The XFL and NFL have reached a collaboration agreement to innovate together on game rules, officiating and health & safety, among other areas. XFL chairwoman/owner Dany Garcia made clear this deal is not a precursor to becoming an NFL developmental league. Full story soon.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) February 21, 2022
Shortly after Seifert made the news public, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson took to social media to make the news official with a press release from the XFL.
Exciting time in football as our @XFL2023 will join forces with the @NFL to collaborate on innovation opportunities to expand & grow the game of football.
As an XFL owner, my #1 priority will always be the players.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 21, 2022
For fans that were worried that we weren’t hearing much from the XFL lately, it seems that there’s been a lot of working going in behind the scenes. In the press release, co-owner Dany Garcia states that the they “are extremely pleased to collaborate with the NFL in these important areas”.
We are bringing forward an XFL that is progressive and forward-thinking when it comes to innovation, leveraging the newest technology to enhance gameday experience. We have an open field for innovative rules to enhance in-game access. Sharing insights and practices between the XFL and NFL will do a tremendous amount of good for the game of football and support the player ecosystem overall.”
The release goes on to say that additional areas where the two could potentially work together are international football development and scouting. Once again, the topic of international play and the XFL comes into frame.
We’re now less than one year from when the XFL plans to hit the field again, this time around they have major competition from the USFL. Although the two won’t be playing at the same time, they’re definitely going to be competing for talent.
What do you think of the partnership between the XFL and NFL? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.
You can read the full press release from the XFL below:
XFL TO JOIN WITH NFL ON INNOVATION OPPORTUNITIES TO ADVANCE THE GAME OF FOOTBALL
NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 21, 2022 – The XFL today announced it would collaborate with the NFL on select innovation programs to further expand the game of football and create increased opportunities for player development both on and off the field.
Health and safety will be a principal area of focus in both learning and innovation, with the XFL working with the NFL on forward thinking physical and mental fitness programs for players, the study of playing surfaces and equipment and the sharing of game trends and data.
We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the NFL in these important areas,” said Dany Garcia, Co-Owner and Chairwoman of the XFL. “We are bringing forward an XFL that is progressive and forward-thinking when it comes to innovation, leveraging the newest technology to enhance gameday experience. We have an open field for innovative rules to enhance in-game access. Sharing insights and practices between the XFL and NFL will do a tremendous amount of good for the game of football and support the player ecosystem overall.”
Additional avenues for collaboration may include international football development and scouting, as well as officiating, including the testing of different game rules for player protection and enhanced overall play, and of different technologies to enhance officiating.
“The XFL has shown us that innovation is one of its core principles. We are hopeful that this relationship will support further development and improvements in the game of football at all levels.” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
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