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WWE Performance Center Opens Up Slots For AAF Players After League Folds

WWE Performance Center Opens Up Slots For AAF Players After League Folds

After the league's first two weeks, Dundon provided a $250 million commitment to the league and was named the league's new chairman amid reports it might miss payroll. The NFLPA responded with concerns that the AAF could not insure players in the event of an injury, which could force them to not meet the requirements of their NFL contracts.

Bill Polian, who created the league with television and film producer Charlie Ebersol, pinned the blame on Dundon.

The so-called feeder league for the NFL was founded by television producer Charlie Ebersol and former NFL executive Bill Polian a year ago and had strong TV ratings out of the gate.

An inability to strike a deal with the NFLPA appears to be part of the reason the league is ceasing operations for now, according to the reports, and Rovell also suggests that Dundon bought a stake in the league not only to run it but also to access some of its technology. Teams aren't necessarily going to land a top-end contributor, but adding the players that shined in this new league would certainly be a sensible move for teams.

The AAF is made up of eight teams: Arizona Hotshots, Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orland Apollos, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and the San Diego Fleet.

Ratings have dipped since the first week and have remained in the 400,000 to 500,000 viewer range and they got some publicity when they signed Johnny Manziel. The next step for the WWE owner is to prove his ideas (and perhaps some others) will prove compelling enough to keep viewers engaged better than other recent failed football leagues.

Dundon has been vocal about seeking an affiliation agreement with the NFL to allow players from the major league teams' practice squads to play in the AAF, a direction Polion and Ebersol were apparently not on board with. Ebersol, a friend of McMahon's, directed the 30 for 30 on the XFL (which McMahon launched in conjunction with his father, longtime former NBC executive Dick Ebersol) and then hastily beat McMahon to the alternative football league market. "I am certain there are many among them destined for future success in the National Football League and I look forward to doing all I can to help them in their quest", said Polian. "It's the only choice at this point unless something drastic happens".

The Apollos head coach, Steve Spurrier, told reporters, "We're all disappointed, but on the other side, we got to be the champs, right?"

On Wednesday, AAF radio analyst Rich Ohrnberger detailed on Twitter how some Memphis Express players had been booted from team hotels, along with their personal possessions. But some of its players' pro careers could soon be advancing. I sincerely regret that many that believed in this project will see their hopes and efforts unrewarded.

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