The Extreme Football League (XFL) returned in February of this year with new ownership at the head of the league. RedBird is one of many major figures involved. Looking forward, the league aims to be an elite footballing league alongside the National Football League (NFL).
Players have already made moves between the two major leagues, with both organizations offering the identical sport with marginally different rulings. We look at the former NFL All-Pro stars that played in the XFL’s first season under its fresh owners.
Josh Gordon is one of the most notable names to have signed for an XFL team and played in its 2023 season. The wide receiver helped his new team the Seattle Sea Dragons to a 2nd placed finish in the North Division.
Gordon has played for a host of NFL franchises such as the New England Patriots and the current champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. As Paddy Power highlights in their current outright markets for NFL bets, the Chiefs are offered at a price of +600 to retain their title next year.
Gordon’s former employers are the most well-rounded team in the competition at present. The Chiefs are the team that the wide receiver last received a significant amount of game time.
The #Chiefs are releasing WR Josh Gordon, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 30, 2022
Gordon has shown great character on the field and in the community since he got to Kansas City and the team is open to him returning. But it’s a numbers game right now and he’s the odd man out. pic.twitter.com/voVS4Hpubo
The Sea Dragons man played 12 games for the Chiefs, recording 32 receiving yards and a single touchdown. He certainly didn’t enjoy the greatest season with the now champions, but that was the last time he was somewhat of a regular in the prestigious football league. Gordon’s 2022 NFL season was spent with the Tennessee Titans, where he only played two times before making the decision to move to the XFL.
The peak of Gordon’s NFL career came soon after his arrival in the league. In 2013, he recorded the most receiving yards in the entire league and earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors for his efforts.
Gordon, who earned the nickname “Flash” due to his immense speed shown in the NFL, established himself as one of the XFL’s star players in his debut season seen at Paps Pulpit. The former Patriots star could be the face of the league for many years to come.
Linebacker Vic Beasley is a former Pro Bowl NFL star, as well as being awarded an All-Pro award after being the standout player in his position during the 2016 season. He recorded a league-high 15.5 sacks for the Atlanta Falcons that year which helped him secure the league’s most improved player award.
Beasley has never been able to replicate his peak season of 2016 ever since, injuries have certainly taken their toll on the defensive player, but the XFL has given him a great opportunity to rebuild his career.
The 31-year-old played in seven games for the Vegas Vipers this year after he was the first overall pick in the XFL’s defensive front draft shown at Sports Illustrated.
Gordon and Beasley are two former NFL stars that achieved impressive individual accolades during their time in the league. Now they are plying their trade in the newly reformed XFL, and they are the caliber of players that can help drive the growth of the league.
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