The United States Football League, or USFL, will begin play once again. This time, the second version of itself will kick off beginning April 16 in Birmingham, Alabama.
This league will also play a spring format and has resurrected eight of their former teams as well as their team names, logos and colors. In all, eight clubs will play 43 games over 10 weeks.
The USFL will have plenty of national television coverage. The main broadcaster will be FOX, but additionally contests can be seen on Peacock, NBC, USA and FS1.
Because of COVID conditions that still exist, all regular season games will be played in Birmingham while the playoffs and championship game will be hosted in Canton, Ohio. The regular season format in Birmingham is for the inaugural season only as most clubs will be relocated to their respective stadiums next year as long as pandemic situations subside.
The teams are the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, Tampa Bay Bandits which will comprise the Southern Division, and the Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers of the Northern Division.
LINK: FULL USFL REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULES
Even though the USFL and its logos remain unchanged from the 1980s version, it is not affiliated with the original entity. For one, the league will run all of its franchises whereas before there were individual club owners. Brian Woods is the primary owner with FOX having minority ownership.
For another, the former league was an NFL rival league whereas this version is a stand-alone league ready to give athletes a chance to continue their dream of becoming a professional football player.
Most tickets are general admission and available through TicketMaster. Each adult ticket cost $10 with up to three free tickets for children under the age of 15. Reserved Club seating tickets are $40 each.
According to the USFL News Twitter account, a player who spends all 10 weeks of the season on a USFL active roster will make $45,000 while a full-season practice squad player will make $15,000. The players are also given victory bonuses for each game won — reportedly worth about $850 — as a part of their contract.
Former Browns in the USFL
Every year, there are 90 football players signed with 32 NFL teams during training camp. On the final cut down day which trims each roster down to 53, this means 1,184 players are suddenly out of work. Practice squads are then filled which have been as many as 16 guys because of the pandemic but prior were just 10. In the end, there are still 672 athletes not playing professionally; not to mention guys that have lingered in the various indoor leagues which don’t pay much who are looking for another avenue that may become a brighter light to their skills.
The USFL has had several drafts to which many former Browns are on a team’s roster. Here’s the list complete with years they were in Cleveland:
CB Brian Allen (2020-2021): Birmingham Stallions