Key Points:

  • AJ McCarron voices player concerns regarding UFL conditions.
  • Living conditions and pay cuts pose significant challenges for players.
  • McCarron discusses unionization and its impact on player welfare.

In a revealing interview on Matty Fresh, former Battlehawks quarterback AJ McCarron shared his insights and concerns about the current state of the UFL. The interview served as a platform for McCarron to voice the apprehensions of many players regarding the league’s operation and player treatment.

Matty did an excellent job in this revealing interview. The full interview is at the end of the article an worth a listen. Also, kudos to McCarron being open and honest. He is coming from a place of trying to help the future of the United Football League.

Concerns with the UFL

McCarron expressed his unease about the league’s direction, particularly the reduced player compensation and absence of win bonuses. He emphasized the importance of meaningful dialogue between players and league ownership to address these concerns.

“There’s a lot of guys that are worried that basically the pay got cut from a contract standpoint there’s no win bonus.” – AJ McCarron

Living Situation for Players in 2024

The living arrangements for players in the UFL have become a significant concern, with McCarron highlighting the challenges posed by the new living stipend and the lack of affordable housing options.

“The biggest issue that I have with this whole thing is the USFL players chose to unionize last year or the year before… now us as XFL players are being forced to join that union if we don’t pay dues.” – AJ McCarron

Max Borgi Not Returning Due to Pay Cut

McCarron mentioned the decision of player Max Borgi not to return to the league, citing the pay cut as a contributing factor. This decision underscores the financial difficulties faced by players.

“I don’t want to speak for Max, but Max just with a pay cut and salary, with Max choosing not to leave his job that he has because of the pay had a little bit to do with it.” – AJ McCarron

Steelworkers Union

The decision to unionize with the Steelworkers Union was a contentious one, with McCarron suggesting that the unique needs of football players may not be fully understood or addressed by this particular union.

“The Steelworkers might be a great union for steel workers. Right. They as a union don’t understand what we need as football players.” – AJ McCarron

Living Expenses Struggles

McCarron detailed the financial struggles players face with the new living expense stipend, emphasizing the inadequacy of the $1,600 monthly allocation in meeting the actual cost of living.

“We’re getting a stipend of $1,600 a month… I sent you an Airbnb that I found which is the cheapest I could find… that costs 1,760 month and no land.” – AJ McCarron

Loss of Hotel Discounts

The removal of hotel discounts for players exacerbates the financial burden, with McCarron revealing the significant out-of-pocket costs that players would incur.

“If we choose to stay in a hotel, right, the team hotel, that we’re going to be in camp, can we get a break? A discount on that hotel room? And I was told, no, there is no discounts.” – AJ McCarron

Joining the NFL PA

McCarron pondered the possibility of joining the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), suggesting that it might have offered better representation and support for the players.

“Hell, if mean hell, we could have waited and possibly had the NFLPA and we could have joined that union and had them represent us.” – AJ McCarron

XFL Talent vs. USFL Talent

McCarron contrasted the talent levels in the XFL and USFL, expressing his view that the XFL showcased better overall talent and more entertaining games.

“Do I think from a game standpoint that the XFL games were much better to watch? Yes, I do. I thought from an overall talent standpoint throughout the whole team there was more talent on the field.” – AJ McCarron

Quarterback Level of Play in the UFL

Highlighting the importance of the quarterback role in football, McCarron stressed the need for the UFL to ensure high-caliber quarterback play to drive the league’s success.

“It doesn’t matter what league you’re in. The game of football has gone to where it’s a quarterback driven game, right?” – AJ McCarron

Player Pay Issues

McCarron acknowledged the calls from fellow players to speak out on the issue of player pay, indicating a widespread concern within the league about the current compensation structure.

“My inbox on Instagram is loaded with guys that have reached out, asked me to speak up and I feel like it’s the right thing to do for guys that maybe don’t have the platform I have.” – AJ McCarron

McCarron’s Future in the UFL

Discussing his future, McCarron remained uncertain about his return to the UFL, weighing the decision based on what is best for him and his family.

“I’m still just talking with my agent family and still kind of deciding what’s best, the best route for me.” – AJ McCarron

The interview with AJ McCarron on Matty Fresh shed light on the pressing issues facing the UFL from a player’s perspective. The concerns raised about player compensation, living conditions, union representation, and the overall direction of the league highlight the need for meaningful change and dialogue between players and league officials.

The UFL, at a critical juncture, must address these challenges to ensure the welfare of its players and the future of the league.

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author avatar
Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of UFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL, USFL and UFL coverage since 2018.

1 Comment

  • Posted January 31, 2024 9:41 pm 0Likes
    by Ken Granito

    Great interview! An interview worthy of TV. I understand where AJ is coming from. I think if you looked back at some of my comments I had mentioned that there was a bump you can to a player and a little more to other players. I do feel, however, part of the reason the XFL lost so much money was overpaying the talent. I did like the USFL for having a market. With a stipend of $1600 per month most people could find an apartment where there would be 50 units players on a team, but you are asking 400 players to flood one market. To me that was not thought out.

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