XFL Commissioner On Manziel, Kaepernick

The XFL is still weeks away from its relaunch, but Vince McMahon’s second try at professional football has already come under fire for its refusal to allow players to leave for the NFL. In an interview with Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times, commissioner Oliver Luck made it clear that the policy won’t change anytime soon. 

If there’s one thing we learned from watching the Alliance it was that quarterback play is critical,” Luck said. “In the game of football today — whether it’s pro, college or even high school arguably — your quarterback play is determinative. So we made an effort to sign guys, some of whom played in the AAF but the vast majority didn’t.”

The league’s policy already prevented Josh Johnson from joining the Lions back in November. Critics felt that the XFL should have allowed the veteran to go to Detroit, but Luck & Co. held him to his commitment with the Los Angeles Wildcats.

We said, ‘No, we’re keeping him. He ours. He signed a contract. He’s committed to us,’” Luck said. “Once a player signs a contract — once he passes his physical and signs a contract — then he’s under contract with us. We won’t release that player to the NFL until after our season. We need certainty. We can’t just have guys peeling off.”

Luck also disclosed that the Steelers inquired on Landry Jones and Phillip Walker after Ben Roethlisberger‘s injury. The XFL, of course, turned down both requests.

While the XFL protects its own signal callers, they won’t go chasing the two biggest names on the open market. Luck sounded less than enthusiastic about the possibility of Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick joining the fledgling league.

“Johnny has his own history, and we have coaches from the CFL who have seen him close up,” Luck said when asked about Johnny Football. “He was in the draft pool. Coaches and scouts looked at him and didn’t think he was going to help their team. I think the guys we have on our teams are the best 560 that aren’t playing in the National Football League.”

As for Kaepernick, Luck characterized his “salary demands” as being “way out of [the XFL’s] ballpark.” As a result, he was “never really a viable option,” for the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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33 comments on “XFL Commissioner On Manziel, Kaepernick

      • B-Minus21

        Name calling is elementary. If you’re an adult, you can choose not to like someone, but as soon as you go to name calling you lose any credence. Also, if you’re going to trash talk someone, you’ll be taken more seriously if you actually know how to speak. I agree, stupid initial comment.

  1. JJB0811

    He’s right not letting players get out from there contracts. If the leagues survives a few years, then the NFL should look at forming some sort of partnership for player development.

    • Brad

      This is it. They let themselves get bullied around and they are back to being nothing again. They stick to their guns and get a “minor league” situation affiliated with the NFL and they made it.

  2. julyn82001

    I like this Luck guy… That is it… We need character and determination in this world.

  3. BuckarooBanzai

    So Kaep was approached and his salary demand was too high?

    You lost me at “Kaep was approached”. Maybe I’m just jaded by the long history of VKM bull, but I seriously doubt it

    • keyser_soze

      Where did he say in the story that “Kaep” was approached? How do you know that he’s not basing it on his own opinion?

      • BuckarooBanzai

        If he hasn’t been approached then it’s a groundless comment for him to make since there was no due diligence

        “What about Colin?”
        “To the best of my knowledge, no team has contacted his representation”

        end of non-story

        • gozurman1

          Maybe Kap’s people approached the XFL. That could have happened too.

  4. JDC

    So they expect the XFL to just allow their players to leave and go to the NFL whenever they want? If that’s the case then the NFL should be allowed for their players to void their contract and leave their team whenever they want…..but I’ll GUARANTEE YOU that won’t ever be allowed!!! Just because the XFL is new and smaller than the NFL doesn’t mean they should allow their players to just leave whenever the hell the NFL comes calling. The XFL isn’t the minor leagues of the NFL!!

      • mstockw1

        NFL Europe was an awesome installation…
        Kurt Warner
        Adam Vinatieri
        “Refrigerator” Perry
        Jake Delhomme
        Fred Jackson
        James Harrison
        David Akers

        It worked out for a few guys lol.

  5. Kwflanne

    Wait…. Kaepernick has unrealistic views on how people value him?? THAT….. IS….. SHOCKING!

      • saluelthpops

        You keep making these statements, but not expounding upon them. If you have a comment then make a well thought-out comment. Otherwise you are adding nothing to this conversation but hatred. You don’t have to agree with these posters but to just say “another stupid comment” gives no credibility to your stance.

        • B-Minus21

          They seem to be on par with the original comments, so I’m okay with it. “Ooooh the edgy, anti-Kap post. What stones these guys must have!” And, in his defense on the first comment, at least use proper grammar. It’s not too hard.

          • Kwflanne

            @B-Minus21 starting a sentence with the word “And” is not proper grammar. Made even more comical when that particular sentence was an attempt to point out other grammatical errors. Sentences do not begin with the word “and”….. to quote you, “it’s not too hard”

            • B-Minus21

              Fair point. Let’s just stick with using the words they actually meant to use then. I guess I figured “know one” would catch that.

            • B-Minus21

              And, with minimal research, it appears to be perfectly normal to begin a sentence with a conjunction.

        • BarNone

          The XFL’s salary is $55K per season. If Kaepernick were a #3 QB on an NFL team and never played a snap he would get $495,000. I could see someone whose last contract was 8 figures per year not wanting to sign a 5 figure contract.

      • Kwflanne

        Seems like you’re just about as out of touch with reality as Kaepernick. Also, my comment was at least on the subject…. yours? Well, your input had just about as much value as Kaepernick has to professional football. Zero.

      • Thomas Bliss

        Doesn’t seem like a stupid comment to me. Seems like a true statement. As for your comment. That seems stupid to me.

  6. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Aside from hoping that the people who watch men in spandex grab each other will watch the XFL because it’s also McMahon’s, how or why will this be at all different than the AAF?

    • TrollHunter

      If this league wants to survive, then it better find a way to get DK and FD to run daily contests.

      Recognizable names and fantasy interest are absolute musts for any NFL alternate league to survive.

      • pt57

        And if they don’t allow players to leave for the NFL, they might have trouble signing name players in the future.

  7. jawn

    lol Johnny Football isn’t even in the top 560 players who aren’t good enough to be in the NFL

  8. mstockw1

    NFL Europe was an awesome installation…
    Kurt Warner
    Adam Vinatieri
    “Refrigerator” Perry
    Jake Delhomme
    Fred Jackson
    James Harrison
    David Akers

    It worked out for a few guys lol.

  9. crosseyedlemon

    Now I may be wrong about this but didn’t Vince say he would have a zero tolerance policy towards players who ran afoul of the law? So if an XFL player really wanted out of his contract so he could join the NFL wouldn’t he only have to get charged with a DUI?

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