As most sports fans know, Vince McMahon’s XFL debuted this past weekend. Conceptually, the XFL is a league comprised of a mixture of recent college players, and older NFL players looking for their last chance at redeeming glory. But to be frank, the league doesn’t really have any big name stars that will get you to stop what you’re doing and run to your TV screen to watch on a Saturday afternoon.
Enter Colin Kaepernick.
The polarizing former NFL quarterback hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season, and in my estimation, probably won’t ever again. But by name value alone, he could certainly drive ratings in the new XFL, something that will be pivotal if the XFL doesn’t want to crumble by the wayside like previous fledgling football leagues that have done so historically.
XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck commented on the possibility of bringing Kaepernick into the league in an interview with NPR:
“We gave it some thought. We have some pretty significant salary restrictions, you know. We’re a start-up league, so we want to make sure that we can be fiscally responsible and fiscally prudent. And the salary requirements that some folks shared with us were in our case exorbitant, so we couldn’t go down that path. . . . We spoke with his representative, and the salary requirements that were broached in that conversation were exorbitant and certainly out of our range.”
Last year, Kaepernick reportedly wanted $20 million per season from the now defunct AAF. The average salary for XFL players is $55,000.
One would think that perhaps this time around Kaepernick would slightly modify his financial expectations, but it seems that even if the former pro drops his salary demands, Commissioner Luck would still be cautious to sign him quoting, “I don’t know. That was well over a year ago, so I don’t know what kind of shape Colin is in. We want the best players who are interested in playing in our league.”