In an unpublicized shift, the XFL’s tentative draft, originally scheduled for October 4th, has been moved to early November. Sources close to the league attribute this postponement to ongoing merger discussions between the XFL and USFL. Here, we break down what this schedule change could signify for the two spring football leagues.
The Unofficial Draft Date
While the XFL never formally announced the draft date, insiders say Directors of Player Personnel (DPPs) for the league’s teams had Wednesday, October 4th marked on their calendars. The abrupt change in the timeline raises eyebrows and prompts questions about the motives behind it.
Key Developments to Consider:
- USFL’s Statement: The USFL announced that 80+ players who haven’t re-signed for 2023 will become free agents on October 1.
- Business as Usual?: Both leagues have maintained a business-as-usual stance in internal communications.
- Player Showcases Still On: Despite the draft delay, the XFL continues to plan player showcases for October 7th in Orlando and October 21st in San Diego.
What’s Behind the Rescheduling?
The USFL recently put out a statement about their players, indicating that more than 80 who have not re-signed for the 2023 season will become free agents starting October 1. Does the draft delay give XFL coaches a window to assess these free agents? It’s worth noting that while the USFL continues to sign players, the XFL has remained relatively quiet on this front.
As @USFL heads into our third season as a fan-first & player-centric league, we’re again making spring football history with real free agency. The 80+ players who have not yet re-signed with their 2023 USFL teams will become free agents on Sunday October 1.— USFL Comms (@USFLcomms) September 29, 2023
XFL’s Player Showcases Unaffected
Even with the draft postponement, the XFL is not slowing down on its scheduled player showcases. These events are set for October 7th in Orlando and October 21st in San Diego, possibly allowing the league to scout talent before the newly scheduled November draft.
While it may be easy to speculate, the postponement of the XFL draft to November amid USFL merger talks signifies a complicated backdrop of legalities, strategies, and perhaps opportunities. It’s a story with more chapters yet to be written, and the football world will be watching closely.
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