The Super Bowl brought an end to the 2018 NFL season, but fans don’t have to wait until August to see more football.
The Alliance of American Football will kick off on Saturday, a new league with many former NFL stars. The league is backed by several major names that were once part of the NFL, such as Bill Polian, Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward.
It will also feature several rules that differ from the NFL, most notably the fact that there will be no kickoffs and teams must go for two-point conversions after touchdowns. In addition, players will be required to get just one foot inbounds to complete a reception, much like college football.
Most importantly, players will be given the chance to continue their playing careers. Most all of these players have NFL experience and there is a wealth of former Los Angeles Chargers players scattered across the new league, which consists of eight teams.
You will recognize several former tight ends and just about every failed placekicker from the last couple of years for the Bolts.
Matt Weiser: Weiser played briefly for the Chargers as the team searched for another receiving option at the tight end spot. However, his time with the team is largely unmemorable.
San Antonio Commanders
Kenneth Farrow: Farrow surprised many to make the team’s 53-man roster after going undrafted out of college. He even started some games for the Chargers after injuries to Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon. The Chargers may have given up on him too early, but the emergence of Austin Ekeler made him expendable.
Cole Hunt: Hunt was with the Chargers last summer but failed to make the team as a reserve tight end.
Nick Rose: Rose played with the Chargers in their last game of the season after being signed to handle kickoff duties against the New England Patriots. He never played well for the Chargers. Can he kick the ball through the uprights in the AAF?
The Commanders will also be coached by former Chargers head coach Mike Riley.
Salt Lake City Stallions
Branden Oliver: Oliver was once one of the most exciting young players on the Chargers roster and though injuries cut his time with the team short, it’s nice to see him getting another chance to play.
Tenny Palepoi: Palepoi spent four seasons with the Chargers, racking up 53 tackles and one sack. He was with the Buffalo Bills last summer but failed to make the team.
Bijhon Jackson: A player many Chargers fans may not even recall, Johnson was with the team last summer.
Younghoe Koo: Here’s a name fans likely do remember. Koo beat out Josh Lambo for the placekicking job in 2017 but failed miserably and was replaced after just a few games.
Braedon Bowman: Another former Chargers tight end who was getting some hype last offseason, particularly after Hunter Henry went down, before failing to make the team this summer.
Trovon Reed: Reed played for five teams in four seasons, including four stops in Seattle. He had a short stint with the Chargers in which he showed some promise.
Nick Novak: You had to figure if Rose and Koo have jobs in this league, the veteran Novak had to as well. The 37-year old ranks sixth on the Chargers’ all-time scoring list with 503 points.
Zach Mettenberger: Mettenberger spent a preseason with the Chargers and to say he struggled would be being too nice. He will be the starting quarterback for Memphis, a team that also has Christian Hackenberg on the roster.
Anthony Manzo-Lewis: I liked what I saw out of this guy last summer and even gave him a decent chance to beat out Derek Watt for the team’s fullback job. That didn’t happen and Manzo-Lewis will look to regain his footing in a new league.
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San Diego Fleet
Football has returned to San Diego, even if it’s not the Chargers. The Fleet will be the city’s new team, and the team has a plethora of former Chargers on the roster.
Mike Bercovici: The former Arizona State quarterback had two chances to make the Chargers as a backup quarterback, he just couldn’t find his way onto the roster. However, he will be the starting quarterback for the Fleet.
Nelson Spruce: I expected so much more out of this guy last summer. I had him as a darkhorse candidate to make the roster. Could Bercovici to Spruce become a legitimate connection in the AAF?
Ben Johnson: The former Kansas Jayhawk had a chance to make the Chargers’ roster last summer as the team had a hole at tight end, but he didn’t impress in training camp.
Brett Boyko: Boyko was with the Chargers as recently as this past September after spending three seasons with the team.
Greg Ducre: A native of Los Angeles, Ducre was signed by the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2014 and spent three seasons, and two different stints, with the team.