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XFL vs. USFL Player Salary Breakdowns, Base Pay Comparison, Housing & Meals

Monetary compensation in alternative football leagues is a pertinent topic for players and fans wanting to know what non-NFL players can get. While they will pale in comparison to the millions an NFL player receives, they can still provide a respectable wage that keeps athletes from hanging up the cleats.

During a Zoom call with the media on Monday, XFL Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Whaley, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Marc Ross, and Senior Director of Player Administration and Officiating Operations detailed more aspects to the upcoming 2023 season.

In it we learned further about player salaries, accommodation for players, coaches and team personnel, roster sizes, and more. It became apparent that XFL players would be better compensated across the board in multiple earnings categories compared to their USFL counterparts. 

Here are some of the key details disclosed about the player contracts:

Base Salary Pay

The initial numbers detailed on the call were that all players would earn $5,000 per week during the regular season with inactive players taking home $1,500. Training camp rosters would start at 66 players with each participant accumulating $800 each week starting January 8th. This is the base salary, though quarterbacks are expected to command higher wages, potentially in the six-figure range.

All USFL players on the active roster made $4,500 per week, or $45,000 for the 10-week regular season. Practice squad players acquired $1,500 per week while training camp players made $600 per week,

Bonuses

Similar to the 2,0 era, XFL players will earn $1,000 for each team win. It is not currently known how much playoff bonuses will amount to in the XFL 3,0. USFL players took home $850 per victory. The Birmingham Stallions were awarded $10,000 per player in their victory over the Philadelphia Stars on July 3. 

Roster Depth

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s mantra of being player number 54 on a 53-man NFL roster permeates in the league. This begs the question of how many “player 54s” will be on the XFL’s rosters, During the Zoom meeting it was confirmed that rosters will carry 50 players, 45 active per week.

This once again trumps the USFL’s 40 active man rosters which initially debuted at 38 at the beginning of the 2022 season. This will allow for more flexibility in assessing which positions require more depth instead of forcing positions to be combined like how the USFL had punters pulling double duty as placekickers.

In addition, an injury replacement pool will be based in at the XFL’s hub in Arlington. It is not designated as Team 9 as it was in the previous iteration in the league.

Accommodation

The housing and meals will be provided by the league at no additional cost for the players. For the USFL, during training camp all players stayed for free. During the regular season the USFL picked up half the hotel bill for players who wanted to stay. So players paid $75 for their hotel room per night. Other players rented homes or apartments in the Birmingham area. For the USFL playoffs the league paid the lodging bills.

These figures display a willingness from XFL ownership to entice players to choose their league over the USFL. How they will factor into the long-term financial calculations moving forward remain to be seen. Will the USFL make adjustments for their 2023 season? 2023 is going to be fun and interesting year for spring football.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. 4th&long

    July 27, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    Andrew – thanks for putting all the details in one place to read.
    Recall you are comparing 2022 USFL vs 2023 XFL. With Inflation running as high as it is I’d expect a USFL bump anyways.
    Having said, there’s not much difference other than the Room costs. of approximately $5-5.5k. It’s about $4mm (including payroll taxes) a yr gap for all the Salary, Bonus, Chg in Active rosters size and camp (partial) etc. That’s for the entire league season. Another $2mm for the Room costs.

    We’ll see how USFL responds – but IMO the XFL avoided a player bidding war and so will the USFL.

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