The Alliance of American Football is off and running, and the NFL is watching.
The new league—which debuted Saturday with two games followed by two more Sunday—hasn't shied away from its intended purpose.
"Our objective is to take some of those people who can't quite make it and make them into quality NFL players," co-founder and Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian said in August, per ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.
Polian outright stated on the AAF's initial pregame show that the new organization hopes to build a relationship with the NFL and reach a point when current practice squad players are included on Alliance rosters.
The AAF has been built to bridge the void between college football and the NFL.
Eight teams (the Arizona Hotshots, Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet) are comprised of 52 players each, ranging from former high-round NFL draft picks to those who've never experienced the game at its highest level.
The AAF is a developmental league. The games should be viewed through that lens with an emphasis on young, promising talent, not those who've already had multiple NFL opportunities. Ten standouts—each 26 or younger—should already be in line for a "call-up" based on their potential and early performances."
There's always a diamond in the rough or two," an anonymous NFL talent evaluator told USA Today's Mike Jones. "If a guy shines, we'll find him. This should definitely be a good thing."