The uniforms and logos are sleek, and the pace of play of the new league should be efficient, too.
The Alliance of American Football, a new professional football league, kicks off its inaugural season in 2019, with all eight teams debuting after months of assembling rosters filled with blast-from-the-past players and coaches. Purposefully scheduled during the NFL’s offseason, the league hopes to attract football fans eager to turn their obsession into a year-round activity.
Sporting News has assembled all the information you need to follow the Alliance of American Football in its first season, including a full weekly TV schedule, team-by-team rosters and a guide to explain the main rules difference from the NFL.
Alliance of American Football 2019 schedule
CBS will carry opening weekend of the AAF for national audiences. One game per week in the following nine weeks of the regular season will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. NFL Network, meanwhile, will carry two games per week. TNT will show Salt Lake at Birmingham in Week 2.
Here is the full regular season schedule breakdown:
|San Diego at San Antonio||Sat, Feb 09||8 p.m. ET|
|Atlanta at Orlando||Sat, Feb 09||8 p.m. ET|
|Memphis at Birmingham||Sun, Feb 10||4 p.m. ET|
|Salt Lake at Arizona||Sun, Feb 10||8 p.m. ET|
|Salt Lake at Birmingham||Sat, Feb 16||2 p.m. ET|
|Arizona at Memphis||Sat, Feb 16||8 p.m. ET|
|Orlando at San Antonio||Sun, Feb 17||4 p.m. ET|
|Atlanta at San Diego||Sun, Feb 17||8 p.m. ET|
|Arizona at Salt Lake||Sat, Feb 23||3 p.m. ET|
|Memphis at Orlando||Sat, Feb 23||8 p.m. ET|
|Birmingham at Atlanta||Sun, Feb 24||4 p.m. ET|
|San Antonio at San Diego||Sun, Feb 24||8 p.m. ET|
|Orlando at Salt Lake||Sat, Mar 02||4 p.m. ET|
|San Diego at Memphis||Sat, Mar 02||8 p.m. ET|
|San Antonio at Birmingham||Sun, Mar 03||4 p.m. ET|
|Atlanta at Arizona||Sun, Mar 03||8 p.m. ET|
|Orlando at Birmingham||Sat, Mar 09||2 p.m. ET|
|Salt Lake at San Diego||Sat, Mar 09||8 p.m. ET|
|Memphis at Atlanta||Sun, Mar 10||4 p.m. ET|
|San Antonio at Arizona||Sun, Mar 10||8 p.m. ET|
|Memphis at Salt Lake||Sat, Mar 16||4 p.m. ET|
|Arizona at Orlando||Sat, Mar 16||8 p.m. ET|
|San Antonio at Atlanta||Sun, Mar 17||4 p.m. ET|
|Birmingham at San Diego||Sun, Mar 17||8 p.m. ET|
|Orlando at Atlanta||Sat, Mar 23||3 p.m. ET|
|Salt Lake at San Antonio||Sat, Mar 23||8 p.m. ET|
|San Diego at Arizona||Sun, Mar 24||4 p.m. ET|
|Birmingham at Memphis||Sun, Mar 24||8 p.m. ET|
|Orlando at Memphis||Sat, Mar 30||2 p.m. ET|
|San Diego at Salt Lake||Sat, Mar 30||8 p.m. ET|
|Atlanta at Birmingham||Sun, Mar 31||4 p.m. ET|
|Arizona at San Antonio||Sun, Mar 31||8 p.m. ET|
|Memphis at San Antonio||Sat, Apr 06||4 p.m. ET|
|San Diego at Orlando||Sat, Apr 06||8 p.m. ET|
|Salt Lake at Atlanta||Sun, Apr 07||4 p.m. ET|
|Birmingham at Arizona||Sun, Apr 07||8 p.m. ET|
|San Antonio at Salt Lake||Fri, Apr 12||8 p.m. ET|
|Atlanta at Memphis||Sat, Apr 13||8 p.m. ET|
|Birmingham at Orlando||Sun, Apr 14||3 p.m. ET|
|Arizona at San Diego||Sun, Apr 14||8 p.m. ET|
What is the Alliance of American Football?
The AAF is a new league established as an offseason complement to the NFL rather than a direct competitor. It features a set of rules aimed at eliminating unnecessary breaks in the action — such as TV timeouts — to create a more fluid game. Rosters of the eight-team league feature former college stars and NFL blasts from the past, and front offices include familiar names to hardcore football fans.
The league, founded by former Indianapolis Colts executive Bill Polian, pays every player the same three-year, non-guaranteed $250,000 contract with built-in bonuses for meeting performance goals.
Its playoff format features Eastern and Western conference championship games before a league title game on Saturday, April 27.
Alliance of American Football rules vs. NFL
- Rather than kicking extra points, teams will be required to attempt two-point conversions.
- There are no kickoffs. Instead, teams will start with the ball at their own 25-yard line.
- Because the elimination of kickoffs takes away the potential for an onside kick, the AAF has created the “onside conversion,” which gives a team a fourth-and-12 situation on its own 28. If the try is successful, the team keeps the ball and continues its drive. Onside conversion attempts are only permitted if a team is trailing by 17 points or there’s five minutes or less left in the fourth quarter.
- Defenses are limited to five pass-rushers on any given play, and they are not allowed to blitz players from the secondary.
- There are no TV timeouts and fewer commercial breaks overall.
- Each team will have two challenges.
Notable coaches, players in the Alliance of American Football
Michael Vick is the offensive coordinator in the city he became arguably the most electric dual-threat quarterback in NFL history. Former college quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Denard Robinson headline the Legends offense, while a number of local favorites like T.J. Barnes, Brandon Watts, KeShun Freeman and Corey Griffin lead the defense.
Former NFL first-round draft pick Trent Richardson is the most recognizable member of the Iron. The one-time Alabama running back averaged just 3.3 yards per carry in the NFL, though he did amass 19 all-purpose touchdowns in his four years in the league. At 28 years old, Richardson should still have plenty in the tank to provide to the Iron.
Hall of Fame linebacker and former NFL head coach Mike Singletary will coach the Express. He’ll have two quarterbacks who once seemed capable of NFL success in former Penn State signal-caller Christian Hackenberg and former LSU passer Zach Mettenberger. Zac Stacy, who found some success in 2013 with the St. Louis Rams, will anchor Memphis’ backfield.
Legendary coach Steve Spurrier will lead the Apollos, who have a roster loaded with talent from the state of Florida. Former Gators quarterback Austin Appleby will get time under center for the Apollos, while former Seminoles defensive lineman Jacob Pugh is expected to contribute on the other side of the ball.
Led by former college football coach Rick Neuheisel, the Hotshots will rely on recognizable NCAA standout Trevor Knight on offense. Defensive back Rahim Moore, who was a second-round pick out of college and played for Neuheisel at UCLA, will be a key part a unit with a strong Pac-12 flavor.
Salt Lake Stallions
Dennis Erickson, a football lifer who at some point probably coached a college or pro organization near you, is the head coach of the Stallions. Former Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata will be in Salt Lake’s backfield, while fellow Utah grad Kaelin Clay will play as a wide receiver. Adding to the local-themed roster, former BYU defenders Handsome Tanielu and Micah Hannemann will star on the other side of the ball.
San Antonio Commanders
The most notable name San Antonio offers is Mike Riley, who coached Oregon State and Nebraska this past decade. There are also in-state grads like Kenneth Farrow (Houston), Aaron Green (TCU) and Trey Williams (Texas A&M).
San Diego Fleet
Mike Martz — the offensive guru before all offensive gurus — will head the Fleet. Martz might not have the weapons he once had as the coach of a St. Louis Rams team with Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk, but he should still have some interesting pieces to work with. Colorado’s Nelson Spruce posted two 1,000-yard seasons in college, and tight end Gavin Escobar played multiple seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Pittsburgh Steelers great Troy Polamalu is the Fleet’s head of player relations.