Life of an Alt-League Receiver is tough. Between the instability of the leagues, they’re in, versus the constant workouts and grinding of constantly being ready many of these players face ups and downs while working to find a way “stick” around on a team. This week two players from different walks of life and careers realized that once again. Tanner Gentry a former XFL receiver was released from the Bills practice squad, while Fabian Guerra a former AAF and Indoor football receiver was signed to a CFL team.
Gentry was an UDFA in 2017 by the Bears and appeared in four games for them recording 3 receptions for 35 yards. Gentry would be waived four times by the Bears jumping between the Bears Practice Squad, unemployment, and Active Roster from 2017 to 2019 before finally joining the XFL where he would be placed on the injured reserve upon signing. Upon the completion of the XFL 2.0, Gentry linked up with former Wyoming teammate Josh Allen which seemed to be his saving grace and his means of staying on the NFL radar. Per Spotrac Gentry has earned approx. $565,000.00 since coming into the NFL in 2017.
Fabian Guerra is an alt-league receiver with a bit of less linear path to pro football than Gentry. Upon leaving Fairmont State, Guerra spent time in the NAL with the Carolina Cobras before joining the AAF’s Memphis Express. Despite a strong showing and recording 1 reception for 11 yards, Guerra would be released and signed multiple times throughout the AAF season before the league ceased operations.
Guerra would go back to the arena league, playing with the Columbus Destroyers and Carolina Cobras, before earning a contract in 2020 with the Montreal Alouettes, before being released on in April of 2021. Now, almost three years after his last pro appearance, and stint in The Spring League (2021 TSL Blues) Guerra has earned his way back to the CFL and is with the BC Lions.
Whether this is the end of Tanner Gentry, or just the beginning for Fabian Guerra I think it’s important to recognize the dedication and reliance of both of these men. Coming into 2023, there is more opportunity for lesser-known football players who are looking for a shot at a professional football environment. Between the USFL, and XFL 3.0, Gentry and Guerra and many players like them have the ability to continue to showcase their skills in hopes of making it to the NFL in some sort of capacity. Regardless for both players it’s just another example of the career fragility for an Alt-League football player.
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