Ex-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback becomes first player to join rebooted XFL

Former Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones became the first player to join the XFL as the rebooted league starts to churn toward its first season back on the field.

The league made the announcement Thursday.

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“We’re excited to welcome Landry to the XFL as our first player and first quarterback,” XFL CEO and Commissioner Oliver Luck said in a statement. “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, who played with the Steelers from 2013 to 2017 and had signed with the Oakland Raiders in March before being released in May, said he couldn’t wait to return to the field.

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The XFL said it plans to sign seven additional quarterbacks before the draft in October and coaches would select their quarterback prior to the draft.

Jones would be a natural fit for the Dallas franchise given that former Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops was named the coach of the team earlier this year.

Jones was under center for the Sooners in each of the four seasons he played and Stoops was the head coach. At Oklahoma, Jones threw for 16,646 yards and 123 touchdowns.

The Steelers selected Jones in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He did receive some time as a starter when Ben Roethlisberger went down with injuries. He threw for 1,310 yards and eight touchdown passes in five seasons.

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Jones was on the Jacksonville Jaguars last season but never saw the field.