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Volume 26 No. 229
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XFL Will Not Release Signed Players To NFL Until After First Season

After cutting Johnson in September, the Lions tried to resign him but were rebuffed by the XFL
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
After cutting Johnson in September, the Lions tried to resign him but were rebuffed by the XFL
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
After cutting Johnson in September, the Lions tried to resign him but were rebuffed by the XFL
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

XFL Commissioner & CEO Oliver Luck said once a player signs a contract, the league "won't release that player to the NFL" until after the XFL season, according to a Q&A with Thomas Bassinger of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Luck: "We need certainty. We can't just have guys peeling off." The Steelers tried to recruit Dallas Renegades QB Landry Jones when QB Ben Roethlisberger got hurt, but Luck said, "First phone call was, 'Can Landry come to the Steelers?' 'Nope, sorry. He's ours. We signed him.' ... We're not trying to be a development league for the NFL." The now-defunct AAF allowed the Redskins to sign QB Josh Johnson, who Luck said "would have been one of the Alliance's better quarterbacks, and they missed having him." Once the XFL signed Johnson, the Lions pursued him when QB Matthew Stafford got injured. Luck: "We said, 'No, we're keeping him. He's ours. He signed a contract. He's committed to us.'" Luck said he hopes each player has a "chance to go to the NFL" after the XFL season, because "that means we’ve done our job in terms of playing good football." Luck: "We are a league of opportunity." Meanwhile, Luck said he is only a "tiny bit" concerned over players who "have a shot at the NFL quitting late in the XFL season." Luck: "It's not something I lose any sleep over" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/11).