Ex-Oklahoma, Steelers QB Landry Jones Signs Contract to Become XFL's 1st Player

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones (3) warms up before a pre season NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones was announced Thursday as the first player to officially join the XFL for the 2020 season. 

Jones expressed excitement regarding his venture into the XFL as part of a press release: "I'm looking forward to joining the XFL and playing the game I love. I can't wait to suit-up."

XFL @xfl2020

#BREAKING: @LandryJones12 has signed with the #XFL DETAILS ➡️ https://t.co/Qlw0qQO6cq https://t.co/K6d6yRPQNk

The 30-year-old Jones served as a backup to Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers from 2013-17 and spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season following a standout collegiate career at Oklahoma.

XFL Commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck also commented on Jones' commitment to play in the league: "We're excited to welcome Landry to the XFL as our first player and first quarterback. He's an accomplished athlete with outstanding college credentials and pro experience, and his heart and desire to play football epitomizes the type of individual we want in the XFL."

Jones appeared in 19 regular-season games during his NFL career and made five starts. Jones went 3-2 as a starter and put up solid numbers when given the opportunity.

Overall, he completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 1,310 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions before joining the Jags for a brief stint. Jones then signed with the Oakland Raiders in March, but he was released in May.

Jones' greatest success came in college, as he owns the all-time Big 12 passing yardage record with 16,646 yards. He also threw for 123 touchdowns, which is third on the Big 12 list behind only Graham Harrell and Baker Mayfield.

During Jones' three full seasons as Oklahoma's starting quarterback, the Sooners went 32-8 with two bowl wins. The major knock against Jones was ball security, as he threw 52 interceptions in his four seasons at Oklahoma.

The XFL announced that Jones is the first of eight "leading" quarterbacks who will be revealed. At some point before the inaugural player draft in October, each of the XFL's eight head coaches will choose their starting quarterback.

While there is no guarantee regarding where Jones will land, Dallas seems like a strong bet since Jones' former head coach at Oklahoma, Bob Stoops, is the head coach of the XFL Dallas franchise.