While the Arlington Renegades 2024 season has not gone the way many have hoped for, the lack of team success has had no impact on legacy of Luis Perez. Perez who despite leading the Renegades to their 2nd victory of the season has seen the Renegades host a 2-7 record, even though Perez has continued to be one of the UFL’s most effective passers. This past weekend Perez recently crossed the 2000 Passing Yard milestone for the first time in his career.

Despite everything that’s happened for Arlington during the 2024, one consistent figure has been Luis Perez not only for the Renegades but for Spring Football in general since the 2019 season as a 24-Year-Old playing for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football. Through Six seasons of Spring Football, Perez despite being one of Alt-Football’s most consistent figures has never eclipsed 2,000 yards passing in a season (the benchmark for elite Spring Play) until this past weekend against the Battlehawks.

While many will view that as an accomplishment, it’s only the tip of the iceberg when discussing the career of Luis Perez. If you’ve listened or watched any Spring Football game or maybe an NFL preseason game, you’ll hear about the story of Perez. Originally, a Bowler Luis taught himself how to play football from YouTube watching videos, to continue to build his knowledge in route to becoming a Division-II National Championship, a Harlon Hill Winner (D-II Heisman) in addition to an opportunity with LA Rams in 2018.

While Perez’s career with Rams never panned out (so far) spending 16 days on their practice squad, his career did take on in it’s own right being selected 5th Overall by the Birmingham Iron allowing the many football fans to know his story on the field and off. Perez would lead Birmingham to a 5-3 record on the doorstep of a playoff berth however, as quickly as it came the league folded leading Perez to have short stints with the Eagles, and Lions on August 31st, 2019 Perez once again found himself without a team and in Football limbo.

This is the XFL:

Still only 25 Perez still continued to battle. After losing the QB competition to professional journeyman Josh Johnson, Perez would find himself traded to the New York Guardians still fighting for an opportunity to start. While the 2020 championed Matt McGloin as their QB1, the talent and leadership ability of Perez was too much for a Guardians franchise that was fighting for a playoff berth. Perez led New York to a 2-0 record before the league and the world shut down leading to Perez having his contract terminated on April 10th of 2020.

While many would have given up, Perez continued to fight playing in Brian Woods’ “Spring League”, leading the Jousters to a Mega Bowl appearance. Despite splitting time with former Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Drew Anderson, Perez still put together a 4-2 record with 655 Passing Yards and 7 Touchdowns, however as the 2021 season ended Perez found himself without an opportunity while his backup Drew Anderson was heading up North to the CFL with the Edmonton Elks.

With the return of the USFL, Perez was surely in line to be one of the Quarterbacks selected right? Now 27, the former Texas A&M Commerce QB still was performing at a high level, despite the unstable nature of spring football and continued to persevere. However, despite all his accomplishments as Two rounds of QB selections took play Perez found himself unselected and in football limbo. It wasn’t until an injury to an aloof Ben Holmes did Perez get an opportunity, dueling with Last Chance U star DeAndre Johnson eventually becoming the New Jersey Generals “main QB”, in their Dual-QB system. Perez would throw for over 1,200 Passing Yards 9 TDs to 1 INTs while leading New Jersey to a playoff berth only to get upset in the conference championship game by the Philadelphia Stars.

With his strong play in the USFL, Perez found himself back in the NFL, again with the Rams and after about Three weeks it was over. Despite doing almost everything right, Perez was unemployed however, the XFL was on the horizon and in November of 2022 the Vegas Vipers selected Perez along with former Philadelphia Stars QB Bryan Scott as Perez was once again in a QB battle for a starting job. After a shaking start with the Vipers, eventually losing the starting job to Brett Hundley and Jalan McClendon the Vipers traded Perez to the Arlington Renegades, a team contending for the playoffs however dealing with an injury to Drew Plitt, and an ineffective Kyle Sloter.

Coming into Arlington Perez, who at that time was still battling for playing time, was able to help the Renegades limp into the playoffs while also fending off former AAF/CFL QB Kevin Anderson, and Mizzou/Clemson standout Kelly Bryant. After finishing the regular season for the Renegades with a 1-2 record, Perez caught fire in the playoffs throwing for almost 600 yards 6 TDs, finally winning a spring league championship, and earning MVP honors for the game as well.

After Six years and Five Spring seasons Perez was on top of the world. However, despite all the accomplishments, the stats, the wins no NFL team called, and as 2024 came along with a USFL-XFL merger Perez was still not officially signed until about Two weeks prior to the season.

The Renegades QB room got a bit younger in 2024 with Kelly Bryant and Kevin Anderson being shown the door, along with Holton Ahlers and Lindsey Scott Jr. being brought on. While Arlington did opt to bring back Drew Plitt for training camp, Perez still had to fight to prove he was “The Guy” in Arlington.

After winning the QB competition, the 2024 Arlington Renegades season hasn’t panned out the way Perez has hoped in regard to their success as a team. The 2-7 Renegades are limping into week 10, with an anemic Defense and an Offense that can’t keep up with injuries despite Perez being one of the UFL’s elite passers. However, the love for the game seemingly is still strong with Perez with not only his play on the field but also off it.

Whether it be mentoring the younger players or allowing him to play in front of his family, Perez continues to be a constant professional. Never getting too high or too low, the even-keeled Perez continues to fight for not only an opportunity for himself but also for those around him trying to get to the next-level.

As the Arlington Renegades prepare for their final game of 2024 against the D.C. Defenders, Perez is set to go against Jordan Ta’amu another spring football fixture since 2020, who he battled with in the 2023 XFL championship. With Perez’s NFL window seemingly coming to a close it’s not out of the question for many to think this could be it for one of the staunch figures in Spring Football.

With 7459 Passing Yards 47 Passing Touchdowns in 45 Regular season games Perez is creeping in on Bobby Hebert’s 11137 Passing Yards, and Jim Kelly’s 83 Passing Touchdowns which rank among the top of non-NFL passing statistics. While it’s unclear if Perez will continue his professional football career in 2025, his legacy should not be forgotten as the story of professional spring football cannot be told without Luis Perez, which could lead to a bust in Canton one day.

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author avatar
Patrick Rifino

1 Comment

  • Posted May 28, 2024 12:56 pm 0Likes
    by Ken Granito

    Hoping for a slightly increased payroll for 2025, maybe move it one up to $5800 per game. Let’s see how it goes, but I hope to see Perez back. He IS my favorite player in the league.

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