Corey Vereen, a former Tennessee Volunteers star and Alliance of American Football player, is the first to publicly withdraw from the XFL after being drafted into the rebooted league.
The defensive end announced through his agency he would forgo the opportunity since the salary is lower than he said was discussed.
Vereen withdraws from XFL, LA Wildcats
Coming off an invite to the Arizona Cardinals training camp, Vereen was taken by the Los Angeles Wildcats in the eighth round of the unconventional XFL draft. He played for Tennessee from 2013-16 and spent a few months with the New England Patriots in 2017 before being cut that September.
But after feeling misled about salary promises, he will instead step back from the league. He is the first, at least publicly, to do so.
After careful consideration, @meanvereen has decided to forgo his @xfl2020 opportunity. Corey has stayed in great shape for his next football opportunity. Unfortunately that opportunity will not be in the XFL with the current pay scale. We wish the @XFLWildcats the best of luck! pic.twitter.com/CVF1Ugcv0x— Logan Brown Sports (@LBSAgent) October 23, 2019
From the statement released by Logan Brown Sports:
“The salary schedule did not come close to matching what was talked about rampantly throughout the XFL combine workouts and was discussed online by many different sources.
“We wish the upstart league the best and would be open to the idea of playing when salaries reach an appropriate minimum.”
Vereen will instead continue to work in his career field of computer science and stay in shape for future opportunities, per the statement.
XFL salaries average $55,000
The XFL released salary information to agents on Oct. 11 ahead of the draft. Players receive a base pay of $27,040 for the 26 weeks from Dec. 4, 2019, to May 31, 2020, that they are employed by the league. They’ll earn additional pay for games played, amounting to $16,850, and for victories as well as playoff bonuses.
A starter on a team that goes .500 will be paid $55,000. The assigned quarterbacks will earn significantly more at $495,000, a source told Yahoo Sports the day salary information was released. It’s more than the NFL’s rookie minimum.
Vereen, dubbed a nerd by Tennessee teammates, will make significantly more than that using his degree. According to Glassdoor, salaries average around $111,000 and could be higher depending on the company. And there’s no stipulation about wins or playoff runs.
More from Yahoo Sports: