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The D.C. Defenders Part Ways With 9 Players Amid Uncertainty In Spring Pro Football Landscape

There’s a great cloud of uncertainty when it comes to the D.C. Defenders and all the teams in the American Spring Pro Football landscape. That’s because, although the terms of a union have been approved by the government, a merger between the two prominent leagues, the USFL and XFL has not been officially finalized by both parties.

In the meantime, and in between time. Both leagues and their squads have freely announced player commitments for the 2024 season, which is presumed to commence on March 30th.

Whether or not a merged configuration emerges of eight, ten, or twelve teams when the smoke settles, the D.C. Defenders are nonetheless figured into a 2024 season.

Teams like the Defenders are tweaking their rosters for additions in the coming New Year. It’s inevitable. There have been rookie drafts and LOIs/signings announced for returning and new players in the XFL and USFL.

But the UF-Elephant in the room, besides how many teams there will be in 2024, is how players will be distributed throughout. There could be multiple drafts; one of them will likely include league players from displaced teams put on pause for the new season.

With ground rules not yet set officially for the merged league. There have been XFL and USFL 2023 players switching sides. It’s created a loophole/grey area for teams like the Birmingham Stallions to operate independently outside of what is not yet an established league structure.

Even if there wasn’t a merged league on the horizon, the Defenders, who can expand their off-season roster based on the set rules, would be adding and subtracting from its roster.

The D.C. Defenders have already conducted a Rookie Draft after the 2023 season concluded, adding 14 players, and have added additional players throughout the summer and fall. Departures into the NFL for players like Green Bay Packers punter Daniel Whelan and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Chris Blair have opened the door for new arrivals.

Turnover for teams in these leagues is going to be very commonplace on a yearly basis for a myriad of reasons.

New blood into the team and league’s pipeline also means that there are inevitable departures.

The DC Defenders have announced nine such transactions. Some players are retiring, while others have been released. The former is represented by veterans DT Caruan Reid, TE Ethan Wolf, C Warren Ericson, OL Alex Jensen, and DE Jacob Panasuik. The latter group is comprised of S Joshua Allen, CB Travon Fuller, DL Jarrell Owens, and OT Dare Rosenthal.

The next few batches of new arrivals for the Defenders could come from NFL cuts, late arriving players that are currently on NFL rosters, similar to last season, and likely from currently existing spring pro football teams.

Things are about to get even more interesting in the coming days and weeks. It’s going to be a New Year in every sense.


Allen, JoshuaSMiami-OH
Ericson, WarrenOCGeorgia
Fuller, TravonCBTulsa
Jensen, AlexOTSouth Dakota
Owens, JarrellDIOklahoma St
Panasiuk, JacubDEMichigan St
Reid, CaraunDIPrinceton
Rosenthal, DareTKentucky
Wolf, Ethan

D.C. Defenders12/13/23Ethan WolfTERetired
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Dare RosenthalTReleased
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Caraun ReidDLRetired
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Jacub PanasiukDERetired
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Jarrell OwensDLReleased
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Alex JensenOTRetired
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Travon FullerCBReleased
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Warren EricsonOCRetired
D.C. Defenders12/13/23Joshua AllenSReleased

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I am a pro football writer who has extensively covered and reported on multiple leagues over the years. I started covering the XFL back in 2001. You can follow me on Twitter @byMikeMitchell

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