- Kaepernick sparked controversy with his national anthem protests during the 2016 NFL season
- The former 49ers passer has not played since opting out of his contract at the end of 2016
- Manziel avoided controversy in his CFL debut in 2018
Colin Kaepernick may have already played his last game in the NFL, but the controversial quarterback has emerged as a strong favorite to resume his football career when the XFL starts play in 2020.
The pivot sports +100 odds to be the first former NFL pivot to join the fledgling league.
Odds to be 1st Former NFL Quarterback to Sign in XFL
|Former NFL Quarterback||Odds|
Kaepernick’s Controversial Stand
Colin Kaepernick sparked a nationwide controversy during the 2016 NFL campaign by taking a knee during pregame renditions of the Star Spangled Banner.
The 31-year-old’s actions drew ire of both fans and team owners, and made him a primary target of US president Donald Trump, who called on Kaepernick to be leave the country.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 12, 2016
The controversy has had a dramatic and long lasting impact on Kaepernick, who has not been signed by another NFL team since opting out of his contract following the 2016 season.
The anthem controversy has had a dramatic and long lasting impact on Kaepernick
The former second-round pick has been overlooked by several NFL teams that have been struck by major injuries to their starting quarterbacks, with the Washington Redskins emerging as the latest squad expected to take a pass on Kaepernick after losing both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to serious leg injuries.
Standing for Anthem a Requirement for XFL
However, with XFL officials declaring that standing for the national anthem will be a condition of employment for players, it will likely require a change of heart on the issue for Kaepernick to suit up in the new eight-team league.
— Chicago Tribune Sports (@ChicagoSports) June 5, 2018
Manziel Falls Short of NFL Expectations
No such obstacles exist for Johnny Manziel, who sits second to Kaepernick as a +200 wager to be the first former NFL passer to join the XFL, while former Philadelphia Eagles passer Michael Vick trails at +500.
Manziel began his NFL career amid great fanfare following a record-setting collegiate career at Texas A&M that earned him Heisman Trophy honors in 2012.
Selected 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft, “Johnny Football” was touted as a franchise quarterback that could turn around the fortunes of a Browns squad that had recorded six straight losing seasons.
Report: Manziel seen in Vegas Saturday despite concussion https://t.co/lwcMVlPmwK
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 3, 2016
A party lifestyle and a belief in his own press quickly caught up with the talented passer, who failed to find the end zone in just five appearances during his rookie season.
Manziel wore out his welcome in Cleveland during the 2015 campaign amid reports of partying in Las Vegas while he was sidelined with a concussion, moving the Browns to release him in March 2016.
Johnny Football Avoids Controversy in CFL Debut
Manziel did little to help himself after getting cut.
The 26-year-old was the subject of a criminal investigation into claims of domestic violence and was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
— CFL News (@CFL_News) December 6, 2018
But after avoiding a criminal conviction that would make him ineligible to play in the XFL, and avoiding tabloid headlines during a CFL season split between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes, Manziel has emerged as a prime candidate to become a marquee player in the XFL.
Vick, Tebow Longshots to Return to Gridiron
Michael Vick has not played in the NFL in three years and his past legal issues, most notably his 2008 felony conviction for dog fighting that earned him jail time, likely makes him ineligible to play in the XFL under the new league’s current guidelines.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 6, 2018
Character issues shouldn’t be a problem for Tim Tebow, who is pegged as a +1000 bet to be the first former NFL quarterback to make the leap to the NFL.
However, Tebow has made steady gains climbing the ranks of the New York Mets farm system, which likely precludes a return to the gridiron.