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Former XFL QBs Proving to Be Valuable in NFL

The 2020 and 2023 XFL seasons both featured a strong group of quarterbacks. Some of these players are now operating in the NFL where they are showcasing their skills in the most important position in the sport.

Here is a look back at what they achieved in the XFL and how they fared in the 2023/24 NFL season.

P.J. Walker (Cleveland Browns)

With 1,338 passing yards for the Houston Roughnecks, P.J. Walker was the most outstanding QB in 2020 in the XFL. He was named in the Midseason All-XFL Team and, before the league canceled for the year, he was on course to help his side to success at the end of the campaign.

Walker now plays for the Cleveland Browns and in his opening game for the franchise, he led them to a 19-17 victory over San Francisco 49ers. That was an excellent result as the 49ers are the favorites at -133 in online betting markets to win the Super Bowl this season.

The bet calculator indicates that a $10 bet on the 49ers in the Super Bowl will generate a return of $17.50. San Francisco has been able to reach the championship game as their defense has excelled this season. In Walker’s debut for the Browns, he threw 192 passing yards and was 18-34 in his passing attempts.

Walker also played a huge role in Cleveland’s triumph against the Indianapolis Colts in 2023. He came off the bench due to Deshaun Watson’s injury, throwing 178 yards and a matching winning drive to prevail 39-38. He looks set to continue to have a big future in the NFL.

Taylor Heinicke (Atlanta Falcons)

After struggling to impress in his opening four years in the NFL, Taylor Heinicke signed to play in the XFL for the St. Louis BattleHawks in 2020. That move has kickstarted his career again, as he impressed in that brief spell in the league.

Heinicke moved to Washington later in 2020 to play for the Commanders. He was named as their starter in the 2021/22 season, leading them to seven victories from the 15 games he featured. The talented QB threw an impressive 3,419 passing yards and recorded 20 touchdowns in the regular season.

The former BattleHawks QB has one of the strongest arms in the NFL, as he has shown at times for the Atlanta Falcons this season. He played five matches in the latest campaign, with the highlight being his side’s excellent victory over the Indianapolis Colts in week 16.

A.J. McCarron (Cincinnati Bengals)

Quarterback A.J. McCarron was one of the stars in the XFL in 2023. He led the St. Louis BattleHawsk to six victories from their nine games, scoring 25 touchdowns with his arm and legs.

McCarron earned himself an opportunity to feature in the NFL following those performances for the BattleHawks. The 33-year-old was on the Cincinnati Bengals roster for the 2023/24 season where he was one of the back-ups to Joe Burrow.

The former XFL player will be hoping to see more game time in 2024 but that may have to come away from Cincinnati, should Burrow get back to full fitness.

The 2024/25 NFL Season begins on September 7 and all three of the above players will be pushing to be week one starts for their respective franchises.

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