Minor league football will be coming to the Boston area this fall.
The Fall Experimental Football League, with six teams, 40-man rosters and a six-game schedule, plans to start play in October with teams in the New York and Boston areas, Austin, Texas, Portland, Ore., Omaha, Neb., and Florida, The Associated Press reported Friday. The FXFL will have no NFL affiliation and will serve as a developmental league.
“Given the current Division I landscape in football and the collective bargaining agreement the NFL has with the union, there is more than ever a need for another platform out there,” FXFL commissioner Brian Woods told the AP. “A platform like for basketball and baseball players.
“Pro football has nothing. The NFL has the practice squad, but it does not develop players because they don’t get into games. You don’t develop if you aren’t getting on the field.”
The league, which plans to play in minor league baseball stadiums, hopes to someday partner with the NFL.
“Our long-term goal is to establish a partnership with the NFL,” Woods said, “and we feel can do that on many platforms. It would give them a way to work with younger players that they don’t currently have. We can help them train prospective NFL officials — in the NBA, every referee entering the league (in recent years) comes from NBA Developmental League.
“We can be a testing ground for proposed rules, too.”
The FXFL largely would consist of players who are cut out of NFL training camps, but the league is considering allowing players without NFL eligibility, which could include players straight out of high school.