The Canadian football League’s Edmonton Elks announced the signing Friday of former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, replacing former Buckeye signal caller J.T. Barrett, who was transferred to the team’s retirement list after suffering an injury in March.
Of course, Jones’ claim to fame comes from his time at Ohio State, where he stepped in for the injured Barrett to lead the Buckeyes to their eighth national championship. In his first three career starts, Jones led Ohio State to wins over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game and Alabama and Oregon in the first-ever College Football Playoff. That season, he completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 860 yards, seven touchdowns and just two interceptions.
He stuck around for the following season, starting the first seven games of the year before being benched in favor of Barrett. He later announced his intentions to enter the 2016 NFL Draft, where he was drafted with the 139th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills.
He spent one season before being traded to the Los Angeles Chargers. He spent time on the Chargers’ active roster and practice squad before being released on Aug. 21, 2019, and was briefly signed to the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad before being released.
This opportunity with the Elks will be Jones’ first shot on the gridiron since 2020, when his contract with the XFL’s DC Defenders was terminated following the league’s suspension of operations. He played in five games for the defenders, completing 54 percent of his passes for 674 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions. He received a tryout with the Las Vegas Raiders later that year, but it did not result in a further opportunity with the Raiders.
Jones had been in the news recently as a co-founder of The Foundation, an NIL collective that aims to raise money for NIL deals for Ohio State student-athletes.