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Freedom Football League

Green Demon

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Ricky Williams, Terrell Owens among founders for planned FFL

Another professional football league -- the Freedom Football League -- has been created by former NFL players, including Ricky Williams, Terrell Owens and Simeon Rice, with the intention of "reimagining, rethinking, reinventing and reforming" the game, it was announced Thursday.

Williams, appearing on ESPN's Outside the Lines on Thursday, said there are 50 former players among the approximately 100 stakeholders. Other early founders include former NFL players Byron Chamberlain, Jeff Garcia and Dexter Jackson.


"The purpose of this league ... is about community and the development of players," Williams told OTL. "... In thinking about creating this league, I wanted to create a league that I could have stayed in and been comfortable and really thrived.

"The NFL started a long time ago, and since then a lot of things have changed. And we want to create a league that's ready for that change and invite some more of it."

The FFL said the league would initially have 10 teams -- with plans to expand into additional locations -- and games would take place during the spring and summer.

The league did not say when it would begin play, though it did say the first 10 teams would be the San Diego Warriors, Oklahoma City Power, Portland Progress, Texas Revolution, Ohio Players, Florida Strong, Birmingham Kings, St. Louis Independence, Connecticut Underground and Oakland Panthers.

The FFL said in a statement that its mission is "to attract football players at their highest level of athletic ability, including those defecting from the NFL, graduating college or high school or playing in international or alternative professional football leagues."

The league said it would be financed through a combination of private funding and public offerings in 2019, meaning fans would be "true owners and legally-committed business partners."

As for players, the FFL said it would ensure they would receive "permanent and reliable holistic health and wellness support on and off the field." In addition, the league said it would encourage athletes to address societal challenges and other "hot button" issues.

"We're trying to develop young men," Williams said on OTL. "You can't take away their voice and expect them to develop. ... When I grew up watching football, I really wanted to be like Jim Brown, not because of what he did on a field, but because he could take that platform and have a voice.

"And so, when I got to the NFL, expecting that to be the case, anytime a big social issue came up, we were told, 'Be quiet. ... It's a distraction.' And so, really, [we're] changing the conversation."

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25470052/former-nfl-players-plan-launch-freedom-football-league


Pretty minimal on details at this point and its hard to get a read on if they have the funding to start now or if its just in the planning phase, but it does have an interesting group of former players coming to the table to foot at least some of the bill. That being said those guys won't be playing so who knows where the quality of the product would be.

Gotta imaging that the weed policy in the FFL with Ricky Williams as one of the primary investors isn't going to be very strict.

Also if nothing else was posting because it mentioned one of the founding teams being the Ohio Players and after going to their website the Ohio Players team has a picture of the West Side Market with the Cleveland skyline in the background. Wasn't sure if that was signaling that a team was going to be hear or what cause the details aren't out there at this point.

https://www.freedomfootball.co/teams/
 

Randolphkeys

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Minor league pro football is a good thing, because college football is doing a poor job preparing many of these positions for the pro game. Some kid who has the tools to be an offensive tackle but needs more experience in meaningful games get the Dez Harrison treatment - play and get eaten alive by the Watt brothers or sit on the bench never getting better. The footballigjt not be the best, but players who are cusp NFL players will have a place to improve.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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Minor league pro football is a good thing, because college football is doing a poor job preparing many of these positions for the pro game. Some kid who has the tools to be an offensive tackle but needs more experience in meaningful games get the Dez Harrison treatment - play and get eaten alive by the Watt brothers or sit on the bench never getting better. The footballigjt not be the best, but players who are cusp NFL players will have a place to improve.
The biggest problem with minor league football is the cost. The number of players, equipment, etc, make it expensive, especially when you consider travel across the entire country.

Without financial support from the "major" league, or a television contract, I don't see how a minor league makes it. Not if it intends on paying legitimate talent.
 

Triple-S

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A USFL-level league in terms of talents would be a great asset to pro football.

What I mean by that is perhaps a league that eventually gets to the point where they take swings at competing for NFL Free Agents, and perhaps guys that just couldn't quite make an NFL roster.

But it's gonna be difficult to keep afloat financially, that's the somewhat sad thing about it.

I am really pulling for this, the AAF and the XFL to be successful. I think perhaps it would even assist franchises that "struggle" to scout talent and give them a shot at signing someone that is say, lighting it up for the San Diego Fleet.
 

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