Cardale Jones signed a contract for his latest pro football comeback, this time in the Indoor Football League.
The former Ohio State football national champion last played in 2020 for the DC Defenders in the XFL and was a practice squad member of the Edmonton Elks last year in the CFL. Jones’ contract with Massachusetts Pirates in the IFL is his first attempt at arena football.
Jones started his pro career in 2016 with the Buffalo Bills but failed to latch on to a roster long-term.
“Cardale is a winner,” Pirates co-owner, president and general manager Jawad Yatim said in a statement. “He has the ability to create and improvise, obviously has a live arm and has competed at the highest levels of football. We’re excited to insert his skill set and abilities within our organization.
“We want a locker room full of enthusiasm this year and my conversations with Cardale have only reflected that sentiment. We’re really glad to have him.”
Jones played just one game in the NFL with the Bills and completed six of 11 passes for 96 yards and one interception.
However, with the Defenders in the XFL, Jones partly broke out. He started five games before the league’s cancellation and completed 61 of 113 passes for 674 yards, four touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 54% completion percentage.
The next move for Jones is not quite Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers-level, but it is a notable move.
Cardale Jones attempting football comeback in IFL with contract
Jones became a superstar at Ohio State during the 2014 season, when he started as the third-string quarterback. After injuries to Braxton Miller and JT Barrett, Jones was inserted as the starter.
He came in relief during a win over Michigan and started the next three games. Those three games were the Big Ten Championship, College Football Playoff semifinals and national championship.
Winning all three games resulted in Jones getting NFL buzz. However, he returned to Ohio State. He finished the season with 860 yards, seven touchdowns, two interceptions and a 60.9% completion percentage.
During the 2015 season, Jones threw for just 1,460 yards, eight touchdowns, five interceptions and a 62.5% completion percentage.
Jones’ pro career lasted just four seasons in the NFL. He played one season with the Bills, two with the Chargers and was a practice squad member of the Seahawks. But now, Jones has a new contract in his latest comeback.
The contract with the Massachusetts Pirates gave Jones another opportunity in the pros. The Pirates were members of the National Arena League from 2018-20 and joined the IFL in 2021. Massachusetts won the league title in 2021.