Former NFL quarterbacks Josh Johnson, Christian Hackenberg, Zach Mettenberger and Scott Tolzien will continue their careers in the new Alliance of American Football.
The league, which begins play on Feb. 9, allowed its eight teams the option to protect a quarterback with geographic ties to the franchise — or make another selection in the first round on Tuesday.
Johnson was the first player to be allocated, as he went to the San Diego Fleet. Hackenberg and Mettenberger were selected by the Memphis Express, while Tolzien was drafted by the Birmingham Iron.
The 32-year-old Johnson played in 29 career games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals after playing at the University of San Diego.
Hackenberg, who was selected by Memphis in the second round, never played a snap in the NFL after being selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and Bengals.
Mettenberger, who went to the Express in the third round, was a sixth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2014 out of LSU. The 27-year-old passed for 2,347 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 overall games with the Titans.
Tolzien, who was selected by Birmingham in the third round, spent the majority of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts.
Other quarterbacks to be drafted or protected included former University of Georgia star Aaron Murray and Jets backup Matt Simms, who went to the Atlanta Legends. Former NFL backup Stephen Morris (Orlando Apollos) and B.J. Daniels (Salt Lake Stallions) were also selected.