(WDVM) — The NFL has found a new partner to help grow and innovate the world of professional football. In a news release put out by the XFL, they talked about expanding “the game of football and create increased opportunities for player development both on and off the field.”

The XFL, which was initially formed by the owner of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Vince McMahon and a partnership with NBC executive Dick Ebersol, held its first and only season in 2001 until money became an issue and the pipe dream of a football league to fill the void of the NFL was done.

On Jan. 25, 2018, Vince McMahon announced that the XFL would return, this time learning from their mistakes nearly two decades prior. Unfortunately, after what some would call a successful start, the season was abruptly ended due to the COVID pandemic.

Later that year, on Oct. 1, the XFL announced new ownership as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his business partner Dany Garcia would be partnering up with RedBird Capital Partners would take reigns of the league.

After months of silence about the future of the league, today, the XFL put out a news release saying a partnership with the NFL has been formed. With the XFL collaborating with the NFL on forward-thinking physical and mental fitness programs for players, the study of playing surfaces and equipment, and the sharing of game trends and data, health and safety will be a major priority in both learning and innovation.

 “We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the NFL in these important areas,” said Dany Garcia, Co-Owner and Chairwoman of the XFL. “We are bringing forward an XFL that is progressive and forward-thinking when it comes to innovation, leveraging the newest technology to enhance game day experience. We have an open field for innovative rules to enhance in-game access. Sharing insights and practices between the XFL and NFL will do a tremendous amount of good for the game of football and support the player ecosystem overall.”

International football development and scouting, as well as officiating, including the testing of various game rules for player protection and improved overall play, as well as different technology to improve officiating, may be additional options for collaboration.

“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,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

You can read the full news release here.