Guys Have Made it “To the League” from the AFL and IFL, Too
In part 1, we took a look at the UFL and CFL pro football leagues as alternatives in the event that things don’t work out for you at the NFL level initially.
Today we’ll take a quick look at the more popular indoor football leagues.
Arena Football League (AFL) – As we’ve discussed before, quite a few players have made it to the NFL from the AFL.
The AFL is still a respected league in the eyes of NFL scouts, and your games get occasional national coverage on the NFL Network.
Money-wise, unless you’re one of the three players a team can tag as a “franchise player”, you’re going to make $400 a game.
UPDATE: As of Fall 2012, Arena players will now make more money, but they will have to pay for their own food and housing. More details will be provided later.
Franchise players make $1000 a game. For the average player, that means you’re only making $7200 over the season.
On the bright side, like the UFL, teams pay for your housing and even give you a stipend for food.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – This is near the bottom of the barrell, but playing in the IFL is nothing to be embarrassed about if you’re holding onto your NFL dream.
The IFL is the place to go if you can’t get any looks at the NFL, CFL, UFL, or AFL levels.
In my opinion, more than anything else, the IFL allows you to keep from having a gap in playing experience.
If your last snap of football was in 2009, and you’re looking for a roster spot in 2011, good luck.
There’s so many players leaving college each year, that to remain marketable, you need to maintain fresh film that you can use to promote yourself.
Anthony Armstrong (WR), with the Redskins and Maurice Simpkins (LB) with the Rams are two examples of guys that fought their ways to the NFL from the IFL. Defensive end Allen Mace is one of the latest to make the jump to the NFL.
IFL players make $200 a game, with the possibility of making some bonus money here-and-there.
There’s quite a few more professional football leagues out there, like the SIFL (Southern Indoor Football League).
At a certain point though, you have to ask yourself if playing for such little pay is worth the damage the game of football can put on your body.
Also, the lower the league, the less respect NFL teams have for the validity of your film.
Related: How to Make A Highlight Video
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How low of a league w0uld you play in before hanging up the cleats?