In a wide-ranging interview by Tampa Bay Times reporter Thomas Bassinger with XFL Commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck. Luck talked about how the XFL blocked several players from signing with the NFL. In particular the Pittsburgh Steelers.
We reported several weeks ago about the Detroit Lions trying to sign Los Angels Wildcats QB Josh Johnson. The Lions starting QB Matthew Stafford went down with a season-ending injury and the team was looking to sign a veteran with experience. Johnson was part of the Detroit practice squad earlier this year.
Since Johnson had already signed his XFL contract, the league said no.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a similar situation when their star QB Ben Roethlisberger went down with a season-ending injury. Current Dallas Renedages QB Landry Jones was a backup to Roethlisberger for several seasons. The first thing the Steelers did when Ben went down was reach out to the XFL.
“Can Landry come to the Steelers?” “Nope, sorry. He’s ours. We signed him”Oliver Luck
The Steelers, still in need of a quarterback reach out to the league again. This time asking about Houston Roughnecks QB Phillip Walker.
“We’d like to have Phillip for a week because we’re playing the Ravens and Phillip’s a little bit like Lamar Jackson. We’ll sign him to a one-week contract so we can get accustomed to that kind of quarterback.” We said, “Thanks for the compliment, but we’re not going to let him go.”Oliver Luck
Luck has made it clear from the start. Once a player signs with the league they are locked in for the season.
“We won’t release that player to the NFL until after our season. We need certainty. We can’t just have guys peeling off.”Oliver Luck
We highly recommend checking out the rest of the article from the Tampa Bay Times reporter Thomas Bassinger. It reveals what happened to players like Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel and Trent Richardson in the XFL draft. Plus a look at how the XFL plans to officiate the game.
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