Can J.P. Losman Be the Next Tommy Maddox?

Weeks after helping the Las Vegas Locomotives win the first ever UFL championship, the former Buffalo Bills starting QB finds himself back in the NFL after signing with the Oakland Raiders, who suddenly had a need for a veteran quarterback after Bruce Gradkowski injured two knee ligaments on Sunday. ↵

↵Certainly the story of a first-round QB bust getting a second chance through an alternate league has to evoke thoughts of Tommy Maddox, who parlayed the XFL's one miserable year of existence into a noteworthy season in the NFL (and a few more less-than-stellar ones). Maddox was drafted 25th overall in 1992 by the Broncos (as an heir apparent to John Elway) but was generally a washout who bounced around the league for a few years before being out of the NFL altogether by 1998. Then suddenly, after a couple years of selling insurance and an unremarkable year in the Arena League in 2000, Maddox garnered attention by being the only person in the history of the planet to be able say he was the MVP of the XFL. ↵

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↵From there, he got a backup job with the Steelers in 2002, only to assume the starting job early in the season when Kordell Stewart struggled. Maddox made the most of the opportunity, leading the Steelers to a division title and a playoff victory. He then swiftly returned to being a lackluster QB and was generally a stopgap between the Kordell and Ben Roethlisberger eras in Pittsburgh. ↵

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↵Still, one would assume that J.P. Losman could only hope to replicate that much success in a league where he's roundly been thought of as a huge disappointment since being drafted 22nd overall by Buffalo in 2004. ↵

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↵Their stories aren't entirely identical. Losman was in the league as recently as last year, whereas Maddox had dropped out of football entirely before trying to revive his career in the XFL. Not to mention the fact that Losman played all of seven games with the Locomotives, it's probably unlikely he's had much of a chance to fine tune his mechanics. Nevertheless, the UFL has proven through Losman and Redskins kicker Graham Gano that it can serve its intended purpose - as a complementary league that can foster talent and be a way station for players trying to find their way. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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