BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – MARCH 31: Aaron Murray #11 of the Atlanta Legends looks to make a pass against the Birmingham Iron during the second half of the Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
The XFL season is less than a week away, and Vegas has the Tampa Bay Vipers as the best team in the league. Winning football games at any level starts with the quarterback, and the Vipers have one of the biggest XFL names on their roster. Aaron Murray will presumably earn starting duties for the Tampa Bay Vipers and the trio of Taylor Cornelius, Chase Litton, and Quinton Flowers will fight for the backup quarterback job.
Tampa Bay Vipers Quarterbacks: Aaron Murray Back in Action
Aaron Murray is easily the biggest name on the roster and should be the Week 1 starter. Murray, of course, is best known for his historical collegiate tenure with the Georgia Bulldogs. After redshirting in 2009, Murray started each of the next four seasons for Georgia, putting up historical numbers in the process. During his time with the Bulldogs, Murray completed 62.3% of his passes for 13,166 yards, 121 touchdowns, and 41 interceptions.
Murray entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Georgia product spent two seasons with Kansas City but never made his way into a game. Andy Reid and Murray parted ways prior to the 2016 season, and Murray never latched on with another team. The Georgia quarterback spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Rams, but never as anything more than a practice squad member or offseason signee.
The last time we saw Aaron Murray, he was starting for the Atlanta Legends in the Alliance of American Football. Returning to his collegiate hometown, Murray started the AAF season as the primary backup to Matt Simms. However, Murray eventually earned the starting job after Simms proved ineffective. The results were mixed, as Murray ended the year completing 64.8% of his passes for 1,048 yards, three touchdowns, and seven interceptions. By our unofficial quarterback rankings, Murray was the seventh-best starting quarterback in the eight-team league.
Murray’s numbers were obviously terrible, but it’s worth mentioning that the Atlanta Legends were an absolute trainwreck. The Legends had the worst roster in the AAF and somehow managed to go through two head coaches and three offensive coordinators. Nobody could have succeeded in that terrible situation, and Marc Trestman should provide some stability for Murray.
Taylor Cornelius spent his collegiate tenure with Oklahoma State. After backing up future NFL starter Mason Rudolph for two seasons, Cornelius finally had his chance to start in 2018. The Texas native put up some impressive numbers, completing 59.4% of his passes for 3,978 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
Cornelius ran out of eligibility and ended up going undrafted in 2019. The Green Bay Packers decided to bring him in to see if they could find a diamond in the rough, but he couldn’t make the final roster.
Chase Litton joined Marshall University in the summer of 2015. Starting off as a backup, Litton managed to take starting duties after Week 3. During his time under center, Litton completed 60.2% of his passes for 2,608 yards, 23 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Litton held to the starting job for the next two seasons before eschewing his Junior year to join the NFL.
Even though he went undrafted, Litton managed to spend some time on the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. Interestingly enough, he actually started his XFL career with the Seattle Dragons before joining the Vipers in a trade.
The Tampa Bay Vipers official roster lists Quinton Flowers as both a quarterback and a running back. Flowers spent his collegiate career with South Florida, starting at quarterback from 2015 to 2017. As his official designation implies, Flowers was able to beat defenses on the ground and through the air. In total, the Florida native managed to throw for 8,124 yards, run for 3,672 yards, and score a combined 112 touchdowns during his time with South Florida.
Flowers made a brief cameo with the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts, but never recorded an official touch. Interestingly enough, the Bengals listed him as a pure running back during his time in Cincinnati.
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