Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s XFL announced it has reached a new innovative partnership agreement with the NFL. The XFL is returning in 2023 after suspending operations in 2020 under Vince McMahon’s ownership. The XFL and NFL partnership comes at a time when alternative football leagues are popping up more frequently.

XFL president Russ Brandon told ESPN’s Kevin Seifert the new agreement will give the NFL a “petri dish” to experiment with proposed rules, test new equipment, and develop prospective officials and coaches.

However, the announcement doesn’t signal XFL’s demotion to a developmental league. The league sees itself as an equal competitor in the football industry. The vision for the future remains the same as always for the XFL.

When asked if the XFL would become a developmental league for the NFL, Dany Garcia replied, “That’s a no. We are a spring league. We will play at the highest level in the spring. There is not the anticipation of any player sharing that changes the dynamic. That’s not how we’re executing our vision.”

The deal is not exclusive because either league is still permitted to work with outside entities. This is about the innovation and development of the game of football because the XFL’s looking to make an impact and change the industry.

“One of the things we made clear starting off is that we were going to take a stewardship position on the game and the game of football, expanding it, and being impactful to the industry.”

The partnership benefits not only both leagues but the game of football as a whole. The official statement from the XFL reads, “The XFL has shown us that innovation is one of its core principles. We are hopeful that this relationship will support further development and improvements in the game of football at all levels.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit ESPN with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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