Going through football withdrawal? Don’t worry, a cure is here. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) kicked off its inaugural season on February 9, 2019. Don’t be surprised when you see a few familiar players showing off their moves in the newest football league.
Zac Stacy, RB
A fifth-round draft pick for the Los Angeles Rams, Zac Stacy enjoyed a respectable rookie year in the NFL team which included running for 973 yards. Things unraveled for the promising player after that as he was plagued by injuries that included a broken ankle.
Unable to regain his early career momentum, Stacy decided to sign with the Memphis Express. While his team has yet to win a game this season, Stacy looks good and is one of the leading rushers in the league.
Christian Hackenberg, QB
Fans of Penn State’s football program have fond memories of the time when Christian Hackenberg was one of the team’s star players. Despite the athletic prowess Hackenberg exhibited while at Penn State, he failed to get it together during his time with the New York Jets. Hackenberg and his loyal fans hope that the AAF provides a chance at redemption. He and former LSU standout Zach Mettenberger are battling to be the starting quarterback for the Memphis Express.
Aaron Murray, QB
Aaron Murray’s playing while he was a Georgia Bulldog inspired the Kansas City Chiefs to make him their fifth-round draft pick in 2014. At the time, Murray led the SEC in touchdowns, setting a career record that surpasses NFL legends Eli Manning and Peyton Manning.
Murray shuffled from one team to another during his time in the NFL. He even did some work as an NFL commentator before he was the AAF’s second overall draft choice. During the AAF’s season, he’ll don the Atlanta Legend’s uniform.
Not only does the AAF provide Murray with a unique opportunity to redeem himself as a star quarterback, but also provides him with a second chance to work with Brad Childress, who was the assistant coach while Murray played for the Chiefs and is the head coach for the Legends.
Garrett Gilbert, QB
Drafted in 2014 by the St. Louis Rams, Garrett Gilbert never really shined on the NFL field. After being shuffled to different teams, including the Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and New England Patriots, he is the starting quarterback for the Orlando Apollos in the AAF.
Gilbert is already proving to be a star player in the league. In just two games, Gilbert notched two wins and produced stats that make him the AAF’s best quarterback.
Karter Schult, DE
A product of Northern Iowa’s football program, Karter Schult wasn’t able to gain much traction in the NFL. When the Panthers waived his contract, Schult turned to the AAF where he’s enjoying consistently solid performances.
As a member of the Salt Lake Stallions, Schult leads the team with 3 sacks and 10 tackles. If he can keep his current momentum going, there’s a strong possibility that he’ll be a breakout
Rashad Ross, WR
After being passed over during the 2013 NFL draft, Rashad Ross bounced from one NFL team to another. During his NFL career, Ross failed to make much of an impact. Now that he’s playing for the Arizona Hotshots in the AAF, he’s starting to shine. In just two games into the season, he caught nine passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns.
Most of the NFL players who have signed with AAF teams hope that the new league will provide them with an opportunity to springboard their careers and possibly make a return to the NFL.