The D.C. Defenders continue to make additions and subtractions to their roster as final cuts near. XFL teams have to pare down their rosters to 51 by February 10th. However, all eight XFL teams have already begun the process of informing players of their releases; as of press time, the Defenders have 63 players.
XFL teams like the D.C. Defenders are inching closer to the start of the 2023 regular season, and teams are making final cuts to trim their rosters to 51 players. The Defenders have been very active in the late stages of training camp. Adding several veteran NFL players to their squad, executing three separate trades, and now have begun paring down their roster.
D.C. Defenders’ Latest Transactions
The latest round of moves by D.C. sees the Defenders claim former Dallas Cowboys 2020 fourth-round draft pick CB Reggie Robinson off waivers from the Seattle Sea Dragons. He is the second player D.C. has claimed recently, as the team added defensive lineman UTEP DL Denzel Chukwukelu off waivers from the San Antonio Brahmas.
Robinson is an intriguing late add-on who has experience playing cornerback and safety.
The former Tulsa standout at 6’1 with 4.4 timed speed has been with three NFL teams since 2020. The Cowboys, Houston Texans, and Cleveland Browns. He was released by Cleveland off injured reserve back in August. Injuries have definitely played a part in Robinson’s struggles to remain on NFL rosters.
Robinson missed the entire 2021 NFL season with a turf toe injury while in Dallas. Then with the Browns, he was claimed off waivers and then released because of a failed physical before re-signing with Cleveland again, only to land on IR later on. It’s been an unfortunate turn for a talented player who showed promise playing five games as a rookie with the Cowboys.
In college, Robinson was an All-AAC player for the Golden Hurricane, using his length and speed to break up 34 pass attempts while also blocking three kicks in his collegiate career. It’s those traits that got him on the NFL’s radar.
The Seattle Sea Dragons drafted Robinson this past November. So his release is surprising. But it’s obvious D.C. is willing to take a flyer on him because of his talents and pedigree.
Robinson has the profile to challenge for starting reps. But at the bare minimum, he could bring value on special teams and provide depth to the Defenders with his position versatility in the secondary. He joins a defense that has recently added former Bears DB Michael Joseph and NFL veteran defensive linemen Gabe Wright and Caruan Reid.
Defenders Make First Wave Of Cuts, Place Three Additional Players On IR
The Defenders have released WR Simmie Cobbs, TE Tommy McIntyre, LB Aaron Sterling, WR Tariq Bitson, OL Tyler Witt, DB Junior Faulk, and DB Cortez Davis. In D.C’s first wave of cuts.
The Defenders also released DL Rod Henderson and LS Erik Lawson on Sunday.
Some of these players could cycle back onto another XFL team, much like Reggie Robinson did after the Sea Dragons released him.
D.C. has also added Portland State DL Dame Ndiaye (quad), Mississippi DL Tariqious Tisdale (arm), and OL Sam Cooper (ankle) to their reserve/injured list. Cooper and Tisdale were two players the Defenders recently acquired through trade.
Head Coach Reggie Barlow has recently seen a lot of turnover on his team at wide receiver. A position that he is very familiar with. The Defenders have added wideouts Chad Hansen, Chris Blair, and Josh Malone. While at the same time placing K.D. Cannon (knee) and Jazz Ferguson (hamstring) on injured reserve.
The Defenders currently have seven wide receivers on their roster. That’s a healthy amount to start the season with, but more moves could still be made in D.C.’s receiving corps before the team’s opener at Audi Field on Sunday, February 19th, against the Seattle Sea Dragons.
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