The latest NFL rumors have suggested that two former players could join the returning XFL league in 2020. In a recent announcement from WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, sports fans learned that the league that lasted just one season back in 2001, will make a return in two years from now. That instantly brought speculation that some of the players no longer participating in the National Football League who are in need of a place to play could join McMahon’s rebooted league. Both Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick were brought up during a press conference and now they’ve been assigned betting odds to join the XFL.
On Saturday, NJ.com‘s Darryl Slater reported on the published odds available for the returning football league. Among the odds are chances that President Donald Trump will own an XFL team during the first season, which are sitting at 2 to 1. With an election scheduled for the year the league relaunches, it seems unlikely that Trump will be focused on a football team, even if he’s friends with McMahon and in the WWE’s Hall of Fame. While that seems highly unlikely, it’s the odds on “retired players who could participate” that are interesting to look at.
Checking out the list, both Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick are listed along with a few other former NFL quarterbacks including Robert Griffin III and Vince Young. Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee leads the list with other non-quarterbacks including Marshawn Lynch and Richie Incognito. It should be noted that Lynch isn’t retired as of this report and is part of the Oakland Raiders, while Incognito is currently a member of the Buffalo Bills. They could possibly retire between now and then, but one has to think the NFL is their ideal job at the moment.
Retired players to participate in XFL
- Pat McAfee: 1/3
- Johnny Manziel: 7/13
- Richie Incognito: 7/3
- Robert Griffin III: 6/1
- Baker Mayfield: 12/1
- Marshawn Lynch: 15/1
- Vince Young: 20/1
- Colin Kaepernick: 1000/1
Adding any number of the above players could help with the league’s relaunch in 2020. Name recognition will be a major boost as the initial teams look to capture fan support and the league tries to get better viewership than it did in its first attempt. A controversial player would clearly be talked about much more as Vince McMahon knows. However, the WWE has steered clear of that as best they can with their recent cleaning up of professional wrestling programming over the years.
As far as Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick go, Vince McMahon was asked about those players participating as well as former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. He addressed those questions by indicating any players with criminal records would not participate in the league. That seems to rule out Manziel who has already been talking about it. He also added that he would expect in the XFL players will stand for the National Anthem as part of the rulebook. Kaepernick is famous for not doing so and eventually lost his job in the NFL, which shows why he is currently a longshot for the XFL.
Tebow seems to have the best show of those mentioned but currently plays baseball with the New York Mets’ minor league team. However, the former NFL star is not listed in the latest odds above, possibly because he has a great shot of participating in the league.
It’s possible that either the criminal charges or anthem stance that McMahon talked about in his recent press conference will soften or be eliminated in the coming year as the XFL rules and policies are formulated. A good number of football fans are probably hoping that’s not the case as the XFL seems like it could address those issues that fans are frustrated with in terms of the current state of the NFL.
There’s also the chance between now and then that Colin Kaepernick chooses the new employer and carries on his political or social activism off the field. Time will tell as the relaunch of the XFL arrives in January 2020.