The XFL 2020 officially kicks off this weekend, with many sports fans eager to see if this new attempt at the league can succeed. Fans are hoping to see the Josh Johnson XFL debut, although that is up in the air for the quarterback.
He’ll certainly be amongst the most experienced players competing in the new league when he gets on the field.
Here’s what you need to know about the Los Angeles Wildcats QB ahead of the XFL opening weekend.
Josh Johnson played for many NFL teams, several seasons
Josh Johnson was born in Oakland and is currently 33. NFL fans may recognize the name as he has been in the professional league before.
Johnson played his high school football for Oakland Technical in California, and then his college ball at San Diego. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him as the No. 160 pick in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
He brings four years of experience from the NFL, as he played for several teams. He began his career with the Buccaneers, playing 26 games there and starting in five of them.
During his time with Tampa Bay, Johnson recorded 1,042 passing yards and five touchdowns but also threw 10 interceptions.
Johnson has been a journeyman quarterback throughout his time in the NFL. He would play for many other NFL teams, including the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and San Francisco 49ers.
He also was part of the Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, and Houston Texans.
He seemingly finished his NFL career with the Washington Redskins in 2018. That’s when he recorded his first official win as an NFL starter.
Detroit Lions wanted Johnson on their roster
Johnson was selected by the XFL’s Wildcats as part of the Supplemental Draft and expects to be a significant boost for their offense. However, an NFL team was interested in bringing him on board too.
He was with the Detroit Lions briefly several months ago but seemed to be done playing in the NFL. Once Matthew Stafford was injured, the team wanted to sign him in late November to work as a backup.
However, the XFL reportedly blocked that move, so now he’s moving on to give the rebooted league a shot with the LA Wildcats.
For his NFL career, he tallied 1,632 yards, eight touchdowns, and 14 interceptions on 148-for-268 passing. He also had 67 rushing attempts for 394 yards and a touchdown. Check out his full NFL stats at Pro-Football-Reference for more in-depth details.
Josh Johnson’s XFL salary details: Real and fantasy
In terms of salaries, the payouts that the rebooted XFL gives are nowhere near what players make with the NFL. We’re talking thousands of dollars versus millions of dollars. Pro-Football-Reference listed Johnson’s most recent salary as slightly over one million dollars, which was his NFL salary.
However, quarterbacks will be paid the most in the new XFL, with starting QBs said to earn 10 times more than most other players, per Yahoo! Sports. That could mean a salary of nearly $500,000 for Josh Johnson with the Los Angeles Wildcats.
Reportedly, the league values talented QBs as worth more than other players on teams, but that could always change.
For the upcoming schedule, Johnson holds a slight lead over other players in terms of his XFL salary when it comes to fantasy sports contests.
According to Draft Kings, Johnson’s salary checks in at 10,700, which is 300 more than the next-highest player. That’s wide receiver Sammie Coates, who is listed at 10,400.
He’s followed by another familiar quarterback. Former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Landry Jones is listed at 10,200 for his fantasy salary.
Those are based on numbers heading into the first weekend of games, so it’s likely they’ll change based on who plays best.
Josh Johnson XFL status for Saturday
The Josh Johnson XFL debut is a question mark. His team, the Los Angeles Wildcats takes on the Houston Roughnecks on Saturday.
According to a report from Ryan Dyrud, Johnson’s been battling an injury. As of just a few days ago, he was considered a “game-time decision” for his team’s season opener.
— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) February 4, 2020
If Johnson is unable to go, then the Wildcats have Chad Kanoff or Jalan McClendon available, but neither is considered nearly as good an option at QB as Johnson.
The XFL currently lists McClendon as the expected starter for the game. Luckily, the “game-time” decision gives a chance that he’ll be on the field and good to go for Saturday’s Wildcats game.
Fans can learn more about Josh Johnson, XFL quarterback, at his official Instagram page.
Fans can watch the Los Angeles Wildcats take on the Houston Roughnecks on FOX at 5 p.m. Eastern Time (2 p.m. PT) on Saturday, February 8.