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XFL: Preparing for 2024 – Multiple Fall Drafts, Unionization, and the NFL Alumni Academy

In a recent insightful conversation hosted by Inside The League, Doug Whaley, XFL’s Senior Vice President of Player Personnel, and Russ Giglio, Senior Director, Player Administration and Officiating Operations, disclosed exciting plans for the league, focusing on the XFL draft in June, when it will take place, multiple drafts in the fall, potential news about an XFL Player Union, and the league’s partnership with the NFL Alumni Academy.

Whaley shed light on the upcoming rookie draft set for mid-June, attributing the idea to Giglio. “One of the things that he thought would be very important for us to have a rookie draft in mid-June… We wanted to do is have our guys evaluate every rookie that was in the 2023 draft class that is not signed to a league and put them in a draft pool,” he explained. The draft, scheduled for June 16, will likely take place mid-afternoon to early evening.

Following the draft, players whose rights are owned by an XFL team will be contacted by the team. Whaley explained that the league would expand its rosters to 90 in the offseason due to expected attrition. However, he emphasized that this wouldn’t jeopardize a player’s chances at the NFL. “Even when we have these rights, we will have an NFL outclause until the 16th week of the NFL season,” he assured.

Furthermore, the XFL plans to hold a combine in Arlington from July 25 to 28, which will involve physical testing, football drills, and a chance for teams to interact with the players. “We wanted to have that combine, so we can get some one on one interaction and have them get a better feel for the character of these players,” Whaley said.

On the topic of contract issuance, Whaley revealed they are delaying contracts due to a potential unionization of players. “We’re dealing with the possibility of unionization of our players. So until we find out correctly if that’s going to go through… then we’re going to have to hold off to see what that contract looks like…,” he stated.

When it came to the topic of unionization, Whaley said the XFL are very open to the idea. He said, “We are not against the union. That’s totally up to the players. Ownership wants to embrace a union if it makes sense for the players, but we have to be agnostic. We can’t say yes, we can’t say no. But if we have to have a union, we will work with them to be a true partnership instead of an antagonistic relationship.”

There is union talk but from ‘another entity’ not the United Steelworkers. That vote is coming soon. Whaley was not told who the entity was but did mention later that the NFLPA was a possibility.

Russ Giglio further delved into the dynamics of contract signing, noting that the rosters are fluid and player agreements are mutual. “The players that finish the season have a mutual option with the team to sign back. The team wants the player back, the player wants to come back, we’ll sign a contract,” he noted.

Whaley touched on the timeline for the Fall draft, stating, “It would probably be around the same time we draft the cut guys from training camp and just throw those two tranches together…So we would say probably late August, early mid September, most likely mid September.” They also touched on a November draft as well.

The topic of the NFL Alumni Academy was brought up, with Whaley stating, “We don’t even know. We haven’t heard if they’re going to do it again. So we’re waiting to see what they said and we haven’t heard.

Other topics hit on was the potential change in the XFL Schedule, XFL Combine, not having a bye week before the Championship game, training camp potential being shorter, their relationship with the IFL and more.

The interview was insightful and offered a glimpse into how the XFL is preparing for its 2024 season, focusing on player contracts, multiple drafts, a potential players’ union, and more.

It underscored the league’s commitment to supporting the players and providing them with opportunities. Whether you’re an XFL fan, a football enthusiast, or interested in the sports industry, this interview has something for you. It’s a must-listen for those who want to keep up-to-date with the inner workings of the XFL and the current climate of American football.

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Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of XFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL coverage since its 2018 revival. Launching XFL News Hub soon after the league's return announcement, Mark has established the platform as a primary source for comprehensive XFL updates. Renowned for his in-depth knowledge and commitment to sports journalism, Mark actively engages the XFL community, welcoming interactions at

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