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Former Georgia Bulldog speaks on XFL lost season

Former Georgia defensive tackle Toby Johnson is filing for unemployment, just like most everyone else involved with the XFL
Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Houston Roughnecks XFL football is seen during an XFL football game, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Houston.

ATLANTA — “They sent a letter Friday basically saying that was our last paycheck and that they were pretty much just laying us off,” said former Georgia defensive tackle Toby Johnson.

On Friday, the XFL laid off almost all of its employees. By Monday, ESPN is now reporting the new football league has filed for bankruptcy.

“They told all of the guys that we should file for unemployment in order to keep up with the lost wages.”

So what does this mean for getting paid from the XFL in the future?

“They came out to their understanding and said they paid us for the rest of the season which wasn’t the case," Johnson said. "They owed us a lot more checks."

However, it’s not just the former Georgia Bulldog that is affected by the league going under. The employees who shared the love for the game of football are also struggling with this massive change.

“A couple of our equipment managers had real jobs. They left that stuff to really be with us and help us be something special," Johnson said. "My heart just goes out to them.”

For Johnson, who has made several practice squads in the past, he’s training to get back to the NFL.

“I’ve talked to seven or eight teams and my agent has talked to a few more at the combine,” he said. 

Even though he’s not returning to the XFL next season, he still thinks they had something special in the making despite no plans for a 2021 season.

“You actually got to see a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that most of the time, in the league, nothing leaves the locker room in the NFL," Johnson said. "It’s so political. You never got a chance to know the real player. But, in the XFL, you got the chance to see everything.”

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