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Sports When will the XFL return? What to know about The Rock's football league for 2022

22:10  01 october  2020
22:10  01 october  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The rebirth of the XFL was short-lived as the coronavirus pandemic ended the football league's 2020 season prematurely.

Shortly after the season was canceled, the league suspended all operations and terminated all of its employees. The league then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and put itself up for sale. Initially the league was going to be up for auction, but a multi-million dollar deal was made before that happened.

Hours before the auction was scheduled, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale (through Cardinale's fund RedBird Capital Partners) purchased the XFL for $15 million. The Rock has since essentially been the face of the XFL, promising to bring back the league.

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While there is limited information available as to what happens next, there are a few things we already know. Below, we'll go through what you need to know about the third iteration of the XFL.

MORE: What does the X in XFL stand for?

When will the XFL return?

The XFL will return in Spring of 2022. The 2020 season began the week after the Super Bowl in February, so that's about where we can project the 2022 season to begin. However, no definitive date has been set yet since the season is so far away at the moment.

Instead of rushing into a new season right away in 2021, the XFL will take its time to make things right and wait until 2022. This especially makes since considering the pandemic isn't over, and shows no signs of slowing down. Rushing into a brand new football season too soon would be challenging.

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"The XFL represents the idea of ultimate opportunity; it’s a league of soul and culture, anchored by the pursuit of dreams and love for the game, that we couldn’t be more proud to lead,” Garcia and Johnson said in a statement. “Every XFL player, coach, city and fan is our top priority and we couldn’t be more excited to champion them in an electrifying 2022 season. We are the new XFL — hungry, humble and no one will outwork us.”

"For the love of football and for the safety of our players and fans, we’ll be back on the field in 2022,” XFL president Jeffrey Pollack said in a statement. “The opportunity in front of us, with our new ownership, is simply too big to rush back. We want to do this properly with care and thought for everyone who loves football, especially our players, coaches, partners and fans."

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What are the teams in the XFL?

In the XFL's announcement video for the return of the football league, it featured the teams from the 2020 season. Since the original league was sold and this isn't a new startup, it's safe to assume the XFL will keep the same eight teams it had during the 2020 season.

Those teams include:

  • Dallas Renegades
  • DC Defenders
  • LA Wildcats
  • New York Guardians
  • St. Louis BattleHawks
  • Seattle Dragons
  • Tampa Bay Vipers

While we assume those teams will remain, it's worth mentioning that no official announcement has been made. In a statement released on October 1st, the league said," The new ownership group and league executives are in the process of finalizing next steps for the relaunch with more details to be shared in the coming weeks and months."

So while it's likely those teams remain, it's not guaranteed. The XFL removed the "Teams" section from its website, so it's possible the new ownership is considering other locations.

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What is the XFL?

The XFL was initially launched in 2001, but only lasted a single season. The 2001 version was a much different product than what we saw in 2020. The 2020 league was a separate entity from the 2001 version, and was a much closer representation to professional football. The league made a few key rule changes to differentiate itself from the NFL, but not enough to make it a gimmick product.

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In short, the XFL is simply an alternate football league. It is not necessarily a direct competitor with the NFL as the league is planning its schedule during the NFL's offseason. It's a way for players to get another opportunity to play professional football, and potentially reach their dream of making an NFL roster with impressive film.

How much do XFL players get paid?

In 2020, XFL players earned an average salary of $55,000, with some of the top quarterbacks earning $495,000. However it's very possible those numbers change in 2022 with new ownership. A full breakdown of the league's salary can be found here.

Will the XFL keep the same rules?

The XFL made a number of rule changes for 2020 that impacted kickoffs, PATs, overtime, pace of play and more. The changes led to fewer time between plays compared to the NFL, and shorter overall games. The rule changes were mostly praised, especially the kickoffs. In the XFL, teams returned kickoffs 93.1% compared to 34.1% in the NFL (for the 2019 season).

Although once again, it's not clear if the new ownership will keep the rules in place, or come up with different rules.

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