MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is hoping the Alliance of American Football can come up with a resolution.
This comes after a majority owner says the legend could be in jeopardy, which could impact the Memphis Express.
It’s an interesting negotiation tactic by Tom Dundon. He became the majority owner of the Alliance of American Football last month.
Essentially, Dundon's saying if the NFL doesn't let the AAF use its young players, then he's going to consider discontinuing the league.
Dundon wants NFL players who are on practice squads to be available for the AAF. His argument is how can they be a development league if they can’t develop guys who aren’t necessarily going to play in the NFL immediately.
An anonymous NFL Players Association official told USA Today that potential injury risk is one of the main concerns of Dundon’s proposal.
Additionally, the NFLPA can't send its players to the AAF right now because it would violate the league collective bargaining agreement.
Dundon's comments were released while the Memphis Express were practicing Wednesday.
Head coach Mike Singletary said afterwards he didn't even know about it, and his main focus is winning on Saturday.
"I have no idea about all of those things,” Singletary said. “The only thing I want to focus on this week. I don't want to bring in anything else this week. We want to focus on this week. We've got our hands full. We have to go win a game."
The Express host Orlando this Saturday at the Liberty Bowl with a 1 p.m. start.
We also reached out to Express Team President Kosha Irby, who released this statement:
Dundon says he expects to make a decision about the future of the AAF over the next two days.
Memphis was the third city to be added to the roster of cities to host an AAF franchise.
Since then, organizers made some changes to the Liberty Bowl to get ready for the new football league. Now that league may close, and fans we spoke to were not happy about it.
Just before the start of the Grizzlies verses Golden State game Wednesday night, some fans couldn't help but think about what's happening in another sport.
“That already surprises me, I couldn't believe it,” said fan Jeff Marks.
“I hope it's not true,” said fan Megan Quinn. “I hope they stay. It's fun in Memphis to have another big sports team here.”
Since then there have been investments in transforming the Liberty Bowl into the new home for Express like adding two party decks, an on-field seating area and a silent disco area.
A permit submitted just before the Express home opener shows a contract at more than $24,000 for scaffolds for VIP seating.
Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement:
Fan Jeff Marks agrees.
“It’s an excellent league, I actually think it was a step up to the NFL, I really do,” Marks said.