Cardale Jones
Jones with the DC Defenders in 2020
Free agent
Personal information
Born: (1992-09-29) September 29, 1992 (age 28)
Cleveland, Ohio
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Glenville (Cleveland)
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 4 / Pick: 139
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Pass completions:6
Pass attempts:11
Passing yards:96
Passer rating:46
Player stats at · PFR

Cardale Jones (/ˈkɑːrdl/; born September 29, 1992) is an American football quarterback who is a free agent. He played college football at Ohio State. At the beginning of the 2014 season, Jones was listed as third on the Ohio State depth chart at quarterback. However, after injuries to Braxton Miller[1] in August and J. T. Barrett in November,[2] he started for the Buckeyes during the College Football Playoff National Championship. Jones was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Los Angeles Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as the DC Defenders of the XFL.

Early years

Jones attended Ginn Academy in Cleveland, Ohio and played football for Ted Ginn Sr. at Glenville High School.[3][4] Students at Ginn Academy are allowed to play at Glenville High.[4] Jones led the Tarblooders to the OHSAA D-I Championship game in 2009.[5] While at Glenville, Jones also lettered in basketball and track. Jones was ranked by as a three-star recruit.[6] He committed to Ohio State University in October 2011. In order to improve his academic standing, Jones attended Fork Union Military Academy for a semester prior to his enrollment at Ohio State University in January 2012 and was roommates with Michael Thomas.[7]

College career

2012 season

Jones redshirted as a freshman and thus did not play, but nevertheless drew controversy when he posted the following on his Twitter account:

Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS

— Cardale Jones, Twitter: October 5, 2012.[8][9][10]

The tweet received heavy criticism and Jones was suspended for one game.[11][12] The tweet was featured as an example of bad social media behavior in the "Best Practices on Social Media" section of a textbook for "The Ole Miss Experience," a freshman year class at the University of Mississippi.[13][14] In March 2014, head coach Urban Meyer described Jones as a "different guy" who was "making progress in the classroom."[15] Later, Jones provided context for the tweet:

I remember I was in class, and I think I got, like, a B on a [sociology] exam. It was just something so stupid; of course I didn't feel that way about academics, and I don't. Nobody in this program feels that way, we actually take that stuff very serious around here. It was just a dumbass thing to do. I definitely didn't think that would happen. It was just a stupid thing to do at that time. It was something where I just got pissed because I studied my ass off.

— Cardale Jones, December 2014.[16]

Ultimately, on May 7, 2017, Jones graduated from Ohio State with a bachelor's degree in African-American Studies.[17]

2013 season

Jones was sparingly used during his freshman season after red-shirting the 2012 season, playing only 39 snaps, attempting one pass and rushing for 128 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.[18]

2014 season

Jones in 2014, while at a spring game
Jones in 2014, while at a spring game

After entering the 2014 season as a redshirt sophomore, third on the Buckeyes' depth chart, Jones made his first start of his college career in the Big Ten Championship Game in place of J. T. Barrett, who had been injured the prior week versus Michigan. Jones led the #6 (AP) ranked Buckeyes squad to a 59–0 victory over the #11 ranked Wisconsin Badgers, on the eve of the NCAA football committee's inaugural playoff selection.[19] Jones was named MVP of the game.

Jones made the second start of his college career, and the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 42–35 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl to advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship against the Oregon Ducks. In the championship game, he excelled once again and led the Buckeyes to a 42–20 victory over the Ducks. Jones recorded 280 all-purpose yards, scoring two touchdowns. He completed 16 of 23 attempted passes for 242 yards, with one touchdown and one interception and ran for another 38 yards and a touchdown.[20] The day after winning the National Championship, Jones discussed his future football career. In a news conference, Jones said that while he did not officially rule out declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft, he believes that he is "not ready for that level yet," partly because he has only started in 3 college football games.[21] Jones confirmed on January 15, 2015 that he would not declare for the 2015 NFL Draft, and would stay with Ohio State for at least another year, most probably until he graduated.[22]

2015 season

After a competition with Barrett that lasted the entire offseason, Jones was named the Buckeyes' starting quarterback immediately before gametime in Ohio State's season opener at Virginia Tech. Both he and Barrett remained listed as co-starters on the depth chart headed into September 12 meeting with Hawaii.[23][24] He set career highs in passing yards and completions against Maryland on September 10, 2015 with 21 completions, 291 passing yards, and two passing touchdowns.[18] After starting the first seven games of the season, he was benched in favor of Barrett.[25] After Ohio State's final home game, he announced his intention to enter the 2016 NFL Draft.[26]


Season Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Yds Pct TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2013 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 17 128 7.5 1
2014 56 92 860 60.9 7 2 160.2 72 296 4.1 1
2015 110 176 1,460 62.5 8 5 141.5 64 193 3.0 2
Career 167 270 2,323 61.9 15 7 153 617 4.0 4

Professional career

At the 2016 NFL scouting combine, Jones suffered a hamstring injury during his second 40-yard dash attempt, ending his workout prematurely.[27]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash Vertical jump Wonderlic
6 ft 5 in
(1.96 m)
253 lb
(115 kg)
33.75 in 9 3/4 in 4.81 s 36 in
(0.91 m)
All values from NFL Combine[29]

Buffalo Bills

Despite only starting 11 games in his college career, Jones was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, with the 139th overall selection, by the Buffalo Bills. On June 7, 2016, the Bills signed Jones to a rookie contract. In 2016, he was inactive for the first 15 games of the season as the third-string quarterback behind primary backup EJ Manuel and starter Tyrod Taylor.[30] With Taylor being inactive for the final game of the season against the New York Jets, Jones was promoted to second string. Jones entered the game to begin the fourth quarter after Manuel was benched. Jones completed 6-of-11 passes for 96 yards and no touchdowns with one interception.[31][30]

Los Angeles Chargers

On July 26, 2017, Jones was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for a conditional draft pick.[32]

On September 2, 2018, Jones was waived by the Chargers and was signed to the practice squad the next day.[33] Jones signed a reserve/future contract with the Chargers on January 14, 2019.[34]

On August 31, 2019, Jones was released by the Chargers.[35]

Seattle Seahawks

On September 7, 2019, Jones was signed to the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.[36] He was released on September 18.[37]

DC Defenders

Jones was allocated to the DC Defenders of the XFL on October 15, 2019.[38] He signed a contract with the team on November 4, 2019. In his first XFL start, Jones went 16-of-26 for 291 yards and two touchdowns and led the team in rushing, helping propel the DC Defenders to their first win.[39] Jones would lead the Defenders to the XFL's first shutout, defeating the New York Guardians in Week 2 behind his 276 yards and two touchdowns in the 27–0 victory.[40] He had his contract terminated when the league suspended operations on April 10, 2020.[41]

Jones had a tryout with the Las Vegas Raiders on August 23, 2020.[42]


Year League Team GP GS Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2016 NFL BUF 1 0 6 11 54.5 96 8.7 0 1 46.0 1 -1 -1.0 0
2020 XFL DC 5 5 61 113 54.0 674 6.0 4 7 57.9 16 61 3.8 0



  1. ^ "Braxton Miller of Ohio State Buckeyes to miss season due to shoulder injury – ESPN". August 20, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Fornelli, Tom. "Ohio State's J.T. Barrett out for season with fractured ankle". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Thamel, Pete (January 8, 2015). "Life at military school: Cardale Jones looks back on his time at Fork Union". Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Pluto, Tery (January 8, 2015). "The Cardale Jones story: The big kid from Cleveland leads Ohio State to national championship game". Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "Third time's the charm for Ohio State with Cardale Jones at the helm – The Lantern : The Lantern". The Lantern. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "Cardale Jones". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  7. ^ 981-3129, Doug Doughty "Ohio State passing duo got its start at Fork Union in central Virginia". Roanoke Times. Retrieved August 15, 2018.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Isaac Rauch. "Ohio State's Third-String Quarterback "Ain't Come To Play SCHOOL"". Deadspin. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "Ohio State backup QB thinks classes are pointless because 'we ain't come to play SCHOOL'". Yahoo Sports. October 5, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  10. ^ Ethan Grant. "Cardale Jones: Ohio State QB Shows True Colors With Football Tweet". Bleacher Report. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  11. ^ Mike Hoag. "Ohio State Suspends QB Cardale Jones for Tweeting Classes Are Pointless". Bleacher Report. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  12. ^ "Cardale Jones to lead Ohio State vs. Alabama as third-string quarterback". Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  13. ^ "Cardale Jones' "We Ain't Come to Play School" Tweet Lives On". Eleven Warriors. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  14. ^ "Infamous Ohio State tweet ends up in an Ole Miss textbook (Photo)". Yahoo Sports. October 22, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  15. ^ "Remembering the 'famous tweet' of changed QB Cardale Jones; Greg Schiano visits practice: Ohio State Buckeyes Urban Meyer quick hits". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  16. ^ "Infamous Cardale Jones tweet a 'stepping stone' – ESPN". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  17. ^ "Cardale Jones Graduates Today From Ohio State". Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  18. ^ a b " Cardale Jones Bio :: The Ohio State University Official Athletic Site The Ohio State University Official Athletic Site :: Football". Archived from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  19. ^ "Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes – Recap – December 06, 2014 – ESPN". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  20. ^ AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX (January 12, 2015). "Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes – Box Score – January 12, 2015 – ESPN". Retrieved January 22, 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones says he's not ready for NFL yet – ESPN". January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  22. ^ "Cardale Jones makes 'very simple' decision to return to Ohio State". January 15, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  23. ^ "Cardale Jones wins Ohio State Buckeyes starting quarterback job over J.T. Barrett". Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  24. ^ "Ohio State releases depth chart for Hawaii: Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett listed as co-starters, other important details".
  25. ^ Brugler, Dane (October 20, 2015). "2016 NFL Draft: Cardale Jones benched, how does it affect his NFL future?". Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  26. ^ "Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott appear headed to the NFL". November 21, 2015.
  27. ^ "Cardale Jones has combine workout end prematurely". Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  28. ^ McGinn, Bob (April 20, 2016). "Rating the NFL draft prospects: Quarterbacks". Archived from the original on March 23, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  29. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Cardale Jones". National Football League.
  30. ^ a b Alper, Josh (January 1, 2017). "Bills pull EJ Manuel in favor of Cardale Jones". Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  31. ^ Fairburn, Matthew (January 1, 2017). "What Cardale Jones had to say about his Buffalo Bills debut". Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  32. ^ Wesseling, Chris (July 26, 2017). "Bills trade Cardale Jones to Chargers for draft pick".
  33. ^ Henne, Ricky (September 2, 2018). "Bolts Claim New Linebacker, Defensive Tackle off Waivers".
  34. ^ Henne, Ricky (January 14, 2019). "Chargers Sign Eight to Reserve/Future Contracts".
  35. ^ "Chargers Announce Roster Moves". August 31, 2019.
  36. ^ "Seahawks sign Cardale Jones to practice squad". Field Gulls. SB Nation. September 7, 2019.
  37. ^ Boyle, John (September 18, 2019). "Seahawks Sign Free Safety Adrian Colbert & Tackle Elijah Nkansah To Practice Squad".
  38. ^ Florio, Mike (October 15, 2019). "XFL announces its eight allocated quarterbacks". Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  39. ^ Heck, Jordan (February 8, 2020). "XFL scores Week 1: Final results, highlights from Saturday's games". Sporting News. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  40. ^ Murphy, Patrick (February 15, 2020). "Cardale Jones, defense leads D.C. Defenders to 2-0 in XFL". Bucknuts. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  41. ^ Condotta, Bob (April 10, 2020). "XFL suspends operations, terminates all employees, but Jim Zorn says he has hopes league will continue". Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  42. ^ @AlbertBreer (August 23, 2020). "And here's today's tryout/visit list. Ex-Ohio State QB Cardale Jones and ex-Lions RB Theo Riddick worked out for Vegas" (Tweet). Retrieved August 24, 2020 – via Twitter.
  43. ^ "Cardale Jones". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 1, 2017.