Steelers

XFL suspends season, makes players available

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Landry Jones -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

The Steelers made an attempt to reach out to quarterback Landry Jones last fall after Ben Roethlisberger went down with a season-ending elbow injury. But because he was under contract with the XFL, a startup spring football league, they were unable to do so because contracts for that league were binding.

Well, Jones is available now -- though the Steelers are no longer interested.

Per ESPN, the Steelers contacted XFL officials to see if Jones could get out from under his contract with the league last fall. The XFL, which viewed Jones as the face of its league, said no.

The XFL announced Friday it is suspending play for the remainder of the 2020 season and immediately released its players from their contracts.

That means XFL players are now permitted to sign deals with any NFL team. Previously, all XFL contracts ran through the league's championship game, which was scheduled to be played April 26, right after the NFL completes its annual draft.

Jones, who spent four seasons with the Steelers, the final two as Roethlisberger's primary backup, played for the XFL franchise located in Dallas. He missed the Renegades' season opener with a knee injury, but completed 70 percent of his passes for 784 yards and five touchdowns in four games. He did, however, throw seven interceptions.

With Jones not available, the Steelers turned to Mason Rudolph and rookie Devlin Hodges at quarterback for their final 14 games in 2019. Rudolph went 5-3 as a starter, while Hodges was 3-3.

The XFL has said it plans to resume play in 2021.

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