Report: XFL blocked Lions from signing QB Josh Johnson
The Detroit Lions were recently interested in signing former NFL quarterback Josh Johnson to a contract with Matthew Stafford battling a back injury, but the XFL reportedly blocked the move.
Johnson, who has played for 13 different NFL teams, was officially assigned to the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats on Friday. The Lions had interest in signing Johnson for QB depth since Stafford is hurt, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the XFL would not allow it.
Lions had interest in signing QB Josh Johnson but XFL blocked them, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 25, 2019
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk obtained a copy of the standard XFL player contract last week, and the language in it states that a player who is under contract is only permitted to leave the league for the NFL after his XFL team’s season concludes. The latest date for that would be April 26, which is when the XFL championship game will be held. That is also the day after the NFL Draft concludes.
The ability for players to leave for the NFL after the XFL season will be a positive for some, as they will have the opportunity to showcase their talents to NFL teams that might be interested. However, the average XFL player salary will be around $55,000, whereas the NFL league minimum salary is $495,000 this season. In this instance, Johnson would be missing out on a much better gig if the Lions were going to sign him.
One player has already dropped out of the XFL after feeling he was misled about the salary structure.