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CFL, XFL discuss collaboration

Mike Florio and Chris Simms look at all the key franchise tag decisions around the league and what it could mean once free agency gets going next week.

Two struggling professional football leagues are hoping to move forward by working together.

The Canadian Football League, which canceled its 2020 season, and the XFL, which cut short its 2020 season, announced today that they intend to collaborate.

Although no one is using the word “merger,” the two leagues jointly stated that they believe they can help each other. After the XFL went belly-up last year, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was among the group of investors who purchased the league’s remaining assets. Johnson was briefly a CFL player, so for him it’s a natural fit.

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said he thinks the CFL’s approach and the XFL’s approach mesh well.

“Canada has an exciting game and devoted fans, and our discussion with the XFL provides a tremendous opportunity to build on that strong foundation,” Ambrosie said. “We look forward to exploring how we might work with one of the most innovative sports brands in the world to grow the game, engage fans in new ways, and reach new audiences. We look forward to seeing what possibilities our discussions might uncover, and to sharing those with our fans as the process unfolds.”

The CFL plans to start its 2021 preseason in May and its regular season in June. The XFL will not play in 2021 and described its 2022 season as “on hold.”