Just a week after he was drafted, former Tennessee Volunteers standout Corey Vereen has dropped out of the XFL. This is due to his disappointment with the pay grade of the XFL.
Vereen played for the Memphis Express of the AAF before the league folded, he was the team leader in sacks.
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
In my view, this is largely due to miscommunication. It’s previously been stated that players will make an average of $55,000 for the three month season, but after a release that only $27,000 of that money was guaranteed, Vereen dropped out. The total XFL season from training camp to championship game is five months.
The thing is, bonuses are given for gamedays and wins, so to make just $27,000 a player would have to be inactive for every single game. The gameday bonus is $1,685, and a win nets $2,222. Players who make the field each game would make $43,850 even if they didn’t win a single game. Win and active bonuses could lead to a maximum of $73,884 with playoff active and win bonuses.
46 of 52 roster spots will be active on gameday, so most players will receive 10 game bonuses adding up to $16,850. If their team wins just half the games in a season, they’ll have $11,110 in bonuses, and with their $27,000 guaranteed, that brings your average player to $54,960.
There’s the $55k. Sources have said the XFL lied about pay during the XFL Summer Showcases. The XFL sent out a memo to all agents prior to the XFL Draft stating what the exact pay would look like for the 2020 season. That announcement came days before the XFL Draft.
I totally understand the risk that players are taking, and if Vereen feels his time is worth more, it’s only logical that he look elsewhere. That’s the beauty of the market. Vereen, a former SEC Honor Roll member has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, and those grads typically make $70,000-80,000 out of college. It’s one of the most valuable degrees in the country, and he’d prefer to put that to use.
The Wildcats will miss his pass rush production. He was tied for 4th in the AAF last spring with 4 sacks, and the 13 sacks he registered in college earned him an offseason try with the Patriots. He would’ve been a solid option for them on the end, but the Wildcats’ defense will be just fine.
They have two towering DE’s that I already figured would lock down each side of the line, with Cedric Reed (6’5″, 296, 18 Sacks at Texas) and Shawn Oakman (6’9″ 275, 17.5 Sacks at Baylor).
Vereen could’ve competed for one of these spots and would have definitely been a contributor, but the Wildcats’ defensive core remains intact.