On the same day the XFL announced the signing of one Arlington Renegades player, tight end Sal Cannella signed a contract himself with the Seattle Seahawks.
The league made the announcement on their social media “X” page Monday afternoon. They also announced earlier in the day that his teammate offensive lineman Garrett McGhin also signed with the NFL with the Buffalo Bills.
64 contracts have been signed by former XFL players to the NFL as of the release of this date. Cannella becomes the seventh Arlington Renegades player to sign with the NFL that includes McGhin, defensive lineman Tomasi Laulile, wide receiver Victor Bolden, defensive lineman Bruce Hector, linebacker Willie Taylor, and defensive back Darren Evans.
Arlington drafted Cannella seventh overall in the skill positions phase of the XFL Draft back in November. Cannella was the leading receiver for the Renegades and finished sixth in the XFL in receptions (42). He led the team in receptions and receiving yards (415). While he did not catch a touchdown in the regular season, Cannella had one of his best games of the season in the XFL Championship game against the DC Defenders catching four catches for 71 yards and a 41-yard touchdown catch on the opening drive of the game. His performance helped the team win the XFL Title 35-26.
The football journey of Cannella began after the NFL Draft in 2020 where he did not sign with any team. He would first join The Spring League for the Generals during the league’s fall season as he helped the Generals win the league title. After a second season with The Spring League in 2021, he got an invite to the Chicago Bears mini-camp before signing with the Miami Dolphins during training camp.
Despite not making the Dolphins roster, his breakthrough came in the USFL with the New Orleans Breakers as he finished as the best tight end in the league. He helped the Breakers make the USFL playoffs and earned a spot on the All-USFL team after 34 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns. Cannella ended up signing with the Green Bay Packers last summer before being cut prior to the season.
With how inconsistent and poor the passing offense was for Arlington for most of the season, Cannella was the best part of the receiving core. He was able to help the Renegades by having the best hands on the team. Without his contribution to the team, Arlington might not have been in the position it was prior to Luis Perez joining the team.
As for the tight end position for the Renegades, they are left with three tight ends including Shaun Beyer, Nate Becker, and Tyler Roberts. Beyer and Becker will battle for the starting position with Roberts competing for a backup or third-string position. Arlington will miss Cannella on the team, but the team still has plenty of weapons to help their passing game out.
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