Georgia football: Aaron Murray joins the Alliance of American Football

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 15: Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 15: Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Former Georgia football quarterback Aaron Murray has been away from the sport for two years, but he returns this February with the Alliance of American Football.

Aaron Murray is not finished with football yet. His professional career restarts this February, a week after the Super Bowl when the inaugural Alliance of American Football season begins. Murray signed with the upstart league and is designated to the Atlanta Legends. Though him and 51 other quarterbacks signed in the AAF will be in a “protect of pick” quarterback draft next Monday, on the CBS Sports Network, hosted by Hines Ward.

Murray will stay in Atlanta if the Legends choose to protect his contract. If not, the former Bulldog will play elsewhere. But it’s hard to imagine the Legends not choosing protect. A new team in a new league needs fans, protecting Murray will put them on the good side of the football fans of north Georgia.

Plus, Murray is one of the best and most decorated quarterbacks in the AAF. Murray started 52 games for Georgia football. He left Athens with multiple school and SEC passing records. His 13,166 passing yards is first in SEC history, as are his 121 touchdowns. He has a career passer rating of 158.6 and a career completion percentage of 62.3. Murray led Georgia to SEC Eastern Division Championships in 2011 and 2012.

However, he failed to impress enough NFL scouts and he dropped to the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was a member of three different teams, but he never played a down outside of preseason play. Joining the AAF is his first step in returning to the NFL. The league allows any player to join a NFL team whenever one offers them a contract.

What is the Alliance of American Football

The AAF is a new league co-founded by Charlie Ebersol, son of former NBC executive Dick Ebersol. The elder also helped create the XFL alongside Vince McMahon in 2001 and he helped increase NBC’s presence in the sports world throughout his career. Rather than join McMahon with his new XFL, the younger Ebersol decided to create his own winter/spring football league, with the elder serving on the league’s board of directors. Charlie serves as the league’s chief executive officer.

The other co-founder is Bill Polian, a 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and a successful general manager and president for multiple NFL teams, most notably the Indianapolis Colts. Polian serves as head of football.

Other high-ranking personnel includes Former USC Trojan and Pittsburgh Steeler great Troy Polamalu (head of player relations); attorney and former senior associate athletic director of USC J.K. McKay (head of football operations); former Georgia Bulldog and Pittsburgh Steeler great Hines Ward (player relations executive); among others.

Since beginning in April, the league has signed over 600 players, with each usually designated to teams close to where they played college ball at. The AAF currently has eight teams in eight states, split into two divisions. The Atlanta legends join the Orlando Apollos, Birmingham Iron and Memphis Express in the east. The west has the Arizona Hotshots, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet.

The inaugural season begins a week after the Super Bowl. The AAF has a deal with the CBS that will have every game broadcasted on either CBS or the CBS Sports Network. The season lasts 10 weeks with a four-team playoff beginning the weekend of April 20th and the 21st and a championship game on April 27th.

Who are the Atlanta Legends

They are the Alliance of American Football team playing at the Georgia State Stadium (former Turner Field) in Atlanta. Brad Childress is the head coach, he brings decades of assistant coaching experience to Atlanta, but the Legends are his first head coaching gig. One of his first assistant coaching hires was Michael Vick. The former Falcon serves as the Legends offensive coördinator.

The Legends roster consists of three other former Bulldogs besides Murray: linebacker Reggie Carter, safety Quincy Mauger, and defensive back Shaq Wiggins (whose career ended at Louisville).

Next. Top 30 players of the Mark Richt era. dark

Their first opponent of the 2019 season is a team Georgia fans should already hate; the Orlando Apollos. Why should you hate the Apollos? Their head coach is Steve Spurrier, that’s all the rwason you need. If the Legends don’t do anything else, hopefully they defeat Spurrier in both meetings this season.