NFL, XFL collaborating on player safety, health data
Other potential collaborations include international development, scouting, officiating
The NFL is collaborating with the XFL for player safety and health data.
The XFL, which plans to relaunch in 2023, will be working with the NFL on physical and mental fitness programs for players, the study of playing surfaces and equipment, and the sharing of game trends and data.
"We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the NFL in these important areas," said Dany Garcia, co-owner of the XFL, which also has Dwayne (The Rock") Johnson among its ownership group. "We are bringing forward an XFL that is progressive and forward thinking when it comes to innovation, leveraging the newest technology to enhance game-day experience. We have an open field for innovative rules to enhance in-game access.
"Sharing insights and practices between the XFL and NFL will do a tremendous amount of good for the game of football and support the player ecosystem overall."
The agreement comes roughly seven months after the CFL and XFL ended talks on a potential partnership. In March 2021, the two football leagues announced they were poised to begin serious discussions about a potential partnership.
The decision to halt partnership talks came with the CFL poised to kick off a shortened 2021 season after not playing at all in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But news the CFL and XFL were talking in March made headlines across North America given Johnson's fame as an actor and former pro wrestler.
Johnson also spent a brief time in the CFL. Following his collegiate career at Miami, Johnson, a former defensive lineman joined the Calgary Stampeders before being released from the practice roster.
Afterward, Johnson followed in the footsteps of his late Canadian-born father, Rocky and entered professional wrestling. He joined WWE in 1996, becoming The Rock, before embarking on a successful acting career.
Other potential collaborations
Also potentially in the works between the XFL and NFL could be international football development and scouting, and officiating, including the testing of game rules for player protection as well as technologies to enhance officiating.
"The XFL has shown us that innovation is one of its core principles. We are hopeful that this relationship will support further development and improvements in the game of football at all levels." said Troy Vincent, who oversees NFL football operations.
The XFL is not planning to become a developmental league for the NFL.