Ever since WWE CEO & Chairman Vince McMahon announced that the new XFL will be coming back in early 2020, people have been wondering who will be playing in the league. Among the players that were discussed to join the league are Tim Tebow, Colin Kaepernick, and Johnny Manziel, who was quick to offer his services to the XFL right after Vince McMahon made his announcement. There’s one problem though: Under Vince McMahon’s new rules for the league, any player with a criminal record is precluded from the league. According to Rovell, due to the new rules, Johnny Manziel is not eligible to play.
“We are evaluating a player based on many things, including the quality of human being they are,” McMahon told ESPN. “If you have any sort of criminal record or commit a crime you aren’t playing in this league.”
No One With A Criminal Record
During a recent conference call, McMahon answered a question from SI’s Jimmy Traina on whether invites would be extended to Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow or Colin Kaepernick. McMahon said that no one with a criminal record such as a DUI would be allowed to play.
“You want someone who does not have any criminality associated whatsoever with them. Even if you have a DUI you will not play in the XFL,” McMahon said. “So that will probably eliminate some of them. Not all of them. If Tim Tebow wants to play, he can very well play.”
Where Is Manziel Now
Manziel currently has an offer from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, which he has until today to make a decision on. Manziel has not played in the NFL since being released by the Cleveland Browns in March 2016. He played in 14 games over two seasons and has seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions. The NFL suspended Manziel after the first four games of the 2016 NFL season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In 2016, he faced a domestic violence charge, which was later dismissed. Under the terms of the dismissal agreement, Manziel was required to complete an anger management class, attend a domestic violence impact panel and participate in the NFL’s substance-abuse program.
After Manziel heard the rumors that he was banned, he even made a joke about it by saying that he would soon be applying for a job at Barstool Sports, but you have to wonder if McMahon might reconsider. Excluding every potential player who has had a scrape with the law would be bad for business. It would also be going against his declaration of the XFL as a “fan-centric” league. Fans care far less about a player’s off-the-field behavior than his ability to play the game.
Reinvent The Game
But as McMahon said, he is trying to let people reinvent the game.
“What would you do if you could reimagine the game of professional football?” he asked in his announcement. “The new XFL will be fan-centric with all of the things you like to see and less of things you don’t, and no doubt a lot of innovations along the way. We will present a shorter, faster-paced. family friendly, and easier-to-understand game.”
Tim Tebow, of course, has no such record and would be allowed to play. Tebow’s last time on the field was in 2012 when he played for the Jets. He attempted only eight passes that season, but played in 12 games.
Colin Kaepernick would also technically be allowed, but McMahon has taken a hard stance on players standing for the anthem and attaching Kaepernick’s name to the league (even if Kaepernick would theoretically stand) may be a look McMahon would rather avoid.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
NFL Turn Over Rate
With the NFL having such an outrageous turnover rate, there will be no shortage of players to choose from. Manziel, Kaepernick, and Tebow would be three of the biggest names to attach to the league. However, out of the three them, only Tebow seems like the only choice on McMahon’s radar at the moment.
Below are the tweets sent by Darren Rowell & Johnny Manziel about Manziel possibly not being eligible to play in the XFL as well as a tweet from Manziel himself about his interest in playing in the XFL:
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 25, 2018
BREAKING: @VinceMcMahon’s new league will be called the XFL. Will start in Jan. 2020, have eight teams, players required to stand for National Anthem & Johnny Manziel is NOT eligible to play https://t.co/KEJA6Q4fua
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 25, 2018
Oh man. I’m not eligible for the XFL?? Looks like I’ve gotta go to my back up plan and apply at @barstoolsports @stoolpresidente
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 25, 2018
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