We recently interviewed agent Logan Brown of Logan Brown Sports about his client Corey Vereen’s decision to walk away from the XFL. The full podcast between Mark and Logan is available here, and it was good to shed some light on the salary issues that led to Vereen making his exit.
After careful consideration, @meanvereen has decided to forgo his @xfl2020 opportunity. Corey has stayed in great shape for his next football opportunity. Unfortunately that opportunity will not be in the XFL with the current pay scale. We wish the @XFLWildcats the best of luck! pic.twitter.com/CVF1Ugcv0x— Logan Brown Sports (@LBSAgent) October 23, 2019
Initially, players, teams and media alike were informed of a plan to have various pay tiers, beginning at $50,000 – $ 70,000 for tier 4 players, all the way up through 6 figures into the $600,000 range for tier ones. Tier One QB pay is still likely to be high, but the vast majority of XFL players will actually be getting around $55,000 with bonuses, $27,000 of which is guaranteed.
“His ultimate frustration was not with the $55,000 number that was released 4 days before the draft…Corey went through the entire offseason under the impression that there would be a tiered salary structure with the XFL”
Brown did say that he understood the decision on a business level to reduce salaries if it helps make the league more sustainable and get off the ground. What is interesting, however, is that players apparently have still not seen their contracts, and there’s a lot up in the air concerning benefits.
The pay was not only a surprise to agents and players but also XFL front office personnel and coaches.
“I have had conversations with four different teams in the XFL that had no idea the pay structure was going to go like that.”
After the business failures of the AAF, it’s not surprising that the XFL ownership is being conservative. The AAF gave all players $70,000, more than most in the XFL, but they failed to complete a single season and ended up leaving players high and dry when they folded league operations.
The XFL at least, guarantees pay from December through May. It seems the AAF’s downfall has made certain players skeptical even though the league did prove demand for a spring football league.
Logan Brown has several players still in the XFL, and he stated that it remains a good opportunity for certain people.
“I really, really want the XFL to succeed, I’ll be the first to say that this is a great opportunity for a lot of guys, you’ve got guys playing arena ball for $300 a game”
“That’s really what this league is about, is getting guys that are hungry for that opportunity to get to the next level.”
Corey Vereen, however, could be making much more in his field of collegiate study (computer science) and prefers to not risk his body for the current level of compensation.
I was unaware of a knee issue that’s been bothering him this offseason, and I don’t think anyone could blame him for wanting to rest it, all things considered. Computer Science is one of the most profitable degrees available in this country and he’ll be happy, making good money there.
Logan Brown spoke to the importance of putting out game film as players try to make their way to the NFL, but Corey Vereen had a good showing in the AAF. He may feel that he’s put enough on tape to attract attention, and wants to rest his body in the meantime.
Brown also suggested Vereen may be considering walking away from football altogether, but that remains to be seen.
When we asked about how this affects Brown’s forecast for the XFL as a whole, he said:
“There’s a need for a league like this…there’s people walking the streets who belong in the NFL…It’s all about opportunity and timing…I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to the right person as a player, but there’s a couple of my guys that it doesn’t make a lot of sense for.”
You can listen to the full interview starting at the 7-minute mark.