After spending eight seasons playing football, Arlington Renegades defensive lineman TJ Barnes announced his retirement from football.
Shortly after the XFL Championship game, Barnes took to Instagram to announce that he was “done” with football.
“Now it’s time to lose weight, become the best programmer I can, podcast, become a model, make more babies, and enjoy life. This journey has been everything and. I’m done.”Arlington Renegeades Defensive Lineman TJ Barnes
Multiple members of his team and the XFL commented on the post including co-owner and chairwoman Dany Garcia.
“Absolutely brilliant!!!! @_thejourneyiseverything_ Very well done.”Co-Owner and Chairwoman Dany Garcia
“TJ, I am so proud of the work that you put in to make your journey happen!! That doesn’t occur without dedication, hard work and sacrifice!! Those principles will carry you throughout whatever you do next!! Keep the flame burning hot!!!”Director of Player Engagement Brian Westbrook
“My brotha 4life!!!”Arlington Renegades Defensive Lineman Will Clarke
His story was told before the season as after being drafted by the Renegades in the XFL Draft, he went on to lose 70 pounds in less than two months to get back into football shape. That dedication paid off as he became a key piece for the Arlington defense as he was one of the starters on the defensive line. Barnes finished his season with 18 tackles, two sacks, five tackles for loss, and one forced fumble in ten games in the regular season. He came up big in the XFL Championship game recording two tackles, one tackle for loss, and a sack in the 35-26 Arlington win over the DC Defenders.
Barnes played with six different NFL teams in five seasons in the NFL recording six solo tackles during that span. His first stint in football outside of the NFL was in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he recorded one tackle in the 2017 season. He also played for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football in 2019 where he recorded 18 tackles in eight games. Barnes was in the 2020 XFL as well playing for the New York Guardians recording 12 total tackles in five games. His last stop before the XFL in 2023 was the Massachusetts Pirates of the Indoor Football League in 2021.
There was a lot of Barnes brought to the table in 2023 for the Renegades, the first being his leadership and veteran presence. Being in football for ten years gave Barnes an advantage over a lot of the younger, more inexperienced players in the league. He was able to dominate on the defensive line as he was big on his run defense as well as being able to get to the quarterback. Barnes was a powerful force in the middle of the line.
The legacy he leaves behind is one of personal triumphant and a good learning lesson to those players out there about dedication. Because of the work, he put in to get back into football shape, he started and succeeded in the XFL as one of the top defensive linemen in the league. On behalf of the XFL News Hub site, we want to congratulate Barnes on a great career and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
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