Football fans used to seeing Zach Mettenberger try working his way back into the NFL can watch him do the same in The Spring League.
Mettenberger is one of several former standout college quarterbacks participating in the instructional league. Although The Spring League isn’t the XFL or AAF, it is nonetheless an opportunity for players like Mettenberger — who started with the Tennessee Titans a few years ago — to earn an NFL contract.
What is The Spring League, and why should football fans care? Here’s what they need to know.
The Spring League is an instructional league
If you’re wondering why The Spring League is playing in the fall of 2020, here’s the easy answer: 2020.
The actual answer is a bit more complicated than that. Not only will The Spring League have a typical season in the spring of 2021, they are also having a six-time league in San Antonio, Texas.
The Spring League had an abbreviated campaign earlier this year before the pandemic, and social distancing led to sports shutting down.
Now, The Spring League is back and in a big way. FS1 purchased a minority stake in the league and will air games on Tuesday and Wednesdays for four weeks.
Six teams will play 12 total games. The league has a bubble format at the Alamodome in San Antonio, which is also the home of UTSA’s football team.
Zach Mettenberger is probably the league’s biggest name
Football fans shouldn’t expect to see ex-Pro Bowlers in The Spring League, at least not this fall.
The league is more designed for younger players in their mid-20s, many of whom went undrafted in the last few years. Former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is really the lone exception.
Mettenberger, a sixth-round pick of the Titans in 2014, played two seasons in Tennessee from 2014-15. He completed 60.3% of his passes for 2,347 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
The ex-LSU standout started 10 games in 2014 and lost every game, leading to the Titans drafting Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
Mettenberger also spent time with the Chargers and Steelers. He also played for the AAF’s Memphis Express in the spring of 2019.
Shea Patterson, J.T. Barrett are among others in The Spring League
Hardcore college football fans may recognize some of the league’s skill players. But, this isn’t a league where former first-round picks will try building their cases to return to the league up.
One of the other notable names is Shea Patterson, the former Ole Miss and Michigan quarterback. Patterson — now playing for the Blues — completed 60.3% of his passes in college for 8,800 yards, 68 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions at the two schools.
Ex-Ohio State gunslinger J.T. Barrett will suit up for the Alphas. Barrett threw 104 touchdowns at Ohio State and ran for another 43.
The Spring League begins play on Tuesday, October 27.