This weekend, the USFL and XFL officially merged to create the UFL. In that process, the leagues cut eight teams. Now, the remaining UFL franchises will be able to fill out their rosters with athletes who were left without a team.
Today, the USFLPA confirmed the news regarding January 5th and January 15th dates as being very important to the dispersal draft process.
USFL Player Allocation will commence on January 5th (Phase 1 – 2), with an open dispersal draft for remaining USFL/XFL players scheduled January 15th. pic.twitter.com/UPGsuVXxg1
Let’s take a look at what we know so far, and what to expect from these UFL drafts.
The first two phases of the allocation process give each USFL and XFL team the ability to protect up to 42 of their players currently under contract. For example, the Birmingham Stallions will have the opportunity to lock in 42 of their athletes for the 2024 season.
Considering that this first draft was originally slated for December 29th, there are a handful of teams who have already their protected rosters set. However, each organization will now have until the 5th – deadline set for 10am – to do so.
On January 5th, phase two will commence. This will implement a draft-style process that takes place at 1pm, allowing USFL and XFL teams to claim up to 20 more players who are in the pool.
What makes this first draft unique, is that USFL teams can only pick athletes from dissolved teams on the USFL side. This ensures that the top tier talent from USFL teams will stick in their conference. The same goes for the XFL conference. This will make the UFL quite competitive, leaning into the USFL vs. XFL rivalry.
Once Phase 1-2 is complete, UFL organizations can have a maximum of 62 players secured at this point.
Note: They do not have to pick 62, there seems to be some flexibility if teams desire to have less.
On January 15th, a league-wide dispersal draft will be held to continue to fill out each UFL roster. This will include all eight teams, who will be able to select players from pools of the remaining USFL and XFL players. During this draft, an XFL team (i.e. St. Louis Battlehawks) could draft a USFL player (i.e. from the New Jersey Generals).
From what we’ve been hearing, this will not be the final draft. There will be opportunities for free agents to join the UFL post-January 15th, once these dispersal phases are complete.
As of right now, training camp rosters are slated to feature 75 players.
We are entering an exciting era of spring football. The USFL and XFL are now one, and there will be a lot of news to come as the league finalizes rosters and plans for 2024.