When all the smoke cleared from a crazy football weekend, 17 XFL players ended up somewhere on an NFL roster. Four guys were signed to the active rosters, while 13 were added to Practice Squads.
The NFL had to get to their initial 53-man cutdowns by Saturday, which means guys were cut, traded, waived, or released depending on their contract status.
There could’ve been five XFL players on active rosters, but the Panthers waived their 5th-round draft pick Kenny Robinson signing him to their practice squad on Monday, and then signed Vipers TE Colin Thompson to the initial 53. PJ Walker, Donald Parham, and Storm Norton round out the rest.
This leaves the 13 that have been assigned to teams’ practice squads. This year is different than most have ever been when it comes to being on that part of the team. Each week, franchises can bring up two players to the active roster, making it a 55-man list.
COVID-19 has added wrinkles to the NFL season, and XFL guys have been reaping the benefits. In all, 50 guys from the spring league were signed at one time to an NFL or CFL team.
The Steelers did the most, as they had a total of 10 XFL players in their camp at one time over the summer. When it all shook loose this weekend, two of them ended up on their practice squad, Guardians offensive linemen Jarron Jones, and Anthony Coyle.
An unnamed Guardians coach was asked about the signings by our own Mike Mitchell, this was the response:
The Browns were also busy with signing XFL players to their squads. TE/FB Johnny Stanton (Wildcats), and OL Michael Dunn (Dragons) were announced yesterday as allocated to the club’s practice squads. Stanton practiced at multiple positions in Browns camp, showing his versatility.
A college QB, Johhny was a RB briefly with the Wildcats, has been a TE, a LB, and now a fulltime FB for the Browns.
Dunn has also played multiple positions throughout his professional football career, which includes stints with the NFL, AAF, and the XFL. He’s played at every spot on the offensive line, and no doubt that’s what got him the shot with the Browns.
The Bengals have also added multiple XFL guys to their practice squad. Vipers RB Jacques Patrick had been signed, waived, and re-signed by the team over the summer. He’ll join DT Kahlil McKenzie (Wildcats) on that training team in Cincinnati.
The NFC South joins the AFC North in signing multiple XFL players to deals. We know the Panthers signed QB PJ Walker and TE Colin Thompson to their initial 53-man roster, and added CB Kenny Robinson to their practice squad.
The other players to sign were:
- BattleHawks QB Jordan Ta’amu – Chiefs
- Roughnecks CB Saivion Smith – Cowboys
- Vipers WR Antonio Callaway – Dolphins
- Vipers LS Nick Moore – Ravens
The rosters are fluid, we saw that happen with Kenny Robinson. While he was signed to the Panthers practice squad, players can be claimed by other teams when placed on waivers.
It’s also possible guys can move up to active rosters in the coming weeks, or guys can also get released. Another option is if an opening comes up on another active roster, practice squad guys can be “poached”. They’re not held to a contract like active roster guys are. They can be protected, but NFL teams are limited as to how many times they can protect a certain player.
The initial rosters weekend was huge for the XFL. At a time in history when a pandemic has knocked out everything, the ability to show that you can play at a high level was part of that.
Pro Days were canceled for most college athletes. Since these guys had at least half of a season to show they did possess the skills to belong in the NFL, they got their shot over others.
This is another way that proves the XFL is important to professional football. It already has its place in our hearts, we know for sure now that it also has a place on the field.
For the Love of Football.
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