In 2 years ago come this February WWE owner and commissioner Vince McMahon would shock the world during the midst of the NFL playoffs with the announcement of the new XFL. With rules such as not allowing players with "Any criminal records" but still some how a stench of the old failed XFL of past lingered around. Since however we have seen the arrival of one Oliver Luck who was named the League's president earlier this year. Luck has done a stellar job in shaping the league taking things day by day and though at times taking awhile to get things to the public, he has been very precise and made some great moves early on. With McMahon seemingly backed off and Luck with the full reigns I see this league having great success based on the well articulated moves thus far. Now with cities, coaches, logos, and players following the leagues inaugural draft this last Tuesday, October 15th the league is nearly set for kick-off come 2020!
When you talk about starting a professional football league or just a team in general one of the most crucial positions has to be the quarterback. This is the life blood of the team and can have even more impact on your ability build a fan base and succeed in new markets that either haven't had football in a while or never at all. The quarterback is the first name most fans know when it comes to their home town team, so it's even better the XFL was able to garner some names that already have some notoriety and all around just a great crop of quarterbacks to kick things off. Here's just a couple of notable names to look out for come February.
Cardale Jones - DC Defenders
It has been a few years since the name Cardale Jones has made it's way around the media and football fanatics alike, however in just 2015 Jones was the starting quarterback of the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes, after injuries to then starter Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes would go on to defeat the current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota 42-20. This team oozed potential NFL talent such as Ezekiel Elliot, Michael Thomas, and Curtis Samuel. Cardale Jone's best year was easily that national championship season as he threw for just over 1,400 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, add on another 300 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground and that would some up a pretty good season for the big bodied 6-5 and 240+ pound signal caller with limited film. This would be just enough for him to be selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, unfortunately Jones wouldn't really see the field only starting in one game where he threw for only 96 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Jones would spend the next few seasons bouncing around the NFL as a backup for the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers. Cardale Jones is easily one of the most notible names entering the XFL in 2020 and rightfully so with such a big frame and proven production when surrounded by speedy weapons he has the potential to be very electrifying to watch for the DC Defenders.
Aaron Murray - Tampa Bay Vipers
Where do you start with Aaron Murray? He had over 13,000 passing yards in four years as the starter at the University of Georgia and no that's not a typo, that's thirteen thousand. He also threw for 121 touchdowns which leads the entire SEC for all time career passing touchdowns, more than Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, and Matt Stafford in their college careers. Murray was a fifth round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2014 however he would not log any regular season stats in his time in the NFL. Most recently Murray was one of the two quarterbacks for the Atlanta Legends in the short lived Alliance of American Football League that would fold March of 2019. Of all the quarterbacks on this list Murray has the highest chance of being written off by most fans. His play wasn't the best with the Legends and even required a quarterback change as the Legends struggled all around. The Legends didn't give Murray much to work with especially in the running game which was lead by former Michigan quarterback turned running back Denard Robinson. I could understand if you don't like Aaron Murray however I believe with a good running game he could really blossom in the right offense. The Legends seemed to try and run some run and gun sort of system that really doesn't correlate well with Murray's skill set. Keep your eyes on the Vipers down in Tampa as this guy can surely sling it if given the chance.
Landry Jones - Dallas Renegades
Ah the golden boy Landry Jones, the XFL has surely hitched their wagon on the former Oklahoma Sooner as he was their first quarterback allocated to a team well before the others. Jones also has the best track record of any quarterback in the XFL. He had over 16,000 yards through the air and 123 touchdowns in his time with the Sooners from 2009-2012. Landry Jones would lead the Sooners to their first BCS Bowl victory since 2002 in 2010 and average a 121% quarterback rating throughout his career. Jones then was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers where he would stay through 2017. Following that Jones would have very short stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders. In his six seasons in the NFL Jones would throw for just over 1,300 passing yards and 8 touchdowns. Despite the lack of production Jones has always been revered as a high quality back-up in the NFL even drawing some interest when Big Ben went down for the Steelers earlier this season however Jones at that point was already committed to the XFL. Reuniting with his college coach Bob Stoops in Dallas could pose a real threat to the rest of the XFL as Jones could be poised for a huge season is the two start clicking like they did back in the Oklahoma days.
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