Life after the XFL in 2020 for many who played in the league has not been easy, but many of its players have taken different paths to continue their pro-playing careers. And one of those paths, the CFL, is about to reopen.
Over 30 XFL players who played in the league in 2020 are currently on NFL rosters. Players like Carolina Panthers QB PJ Walker, Washington QB Taylor Heinicke, Los Angeles Chargers TE Donald Parham Jr and Carolina Panthers fifth-round draft pick Safety Kenny Robinson.
In the past, The options have always been limited for American-born pro football players, who end up on the outside of the NFL looking in. The CFL has always been a safe haven for pro football players seeking to continue their careers. Still, the times could be changing with the return of the USFL, eventually the XFL, and many other leagues that could look to inhabit the American pro football landscape in the future.
But for now, In 2021, the best option for players outside of the NFL remains the Canadian Football League.
Back in 2020, when the pandemic hit, the XFL players who did not sign onto NFL rosters gazed their sights on the great football league up north. Several players latched onto Canadian teams hoping that the CFL would be able to brave the pitfalls of the pandemic, but unfortunately, the CFL had to cancel their 2020 season.
Fast forward to a year later, and despite all the hurdles, uncertainty, and tribulation in the time since, the CFL is days away from announcing the return of their league, with their 2021 season kicking off on August 5th.
American football players on CFL rosters have been in contact with their respective teams. Many players have been told to arrive and report to Canada on July 2nd for quarantine before starting camp and preparations for the coming season on roughly July 10th.
As of June 10th, 82 players who were a part of the XFL, in some form or fashion, have signed on with CFL teams.
It’s worth noting that the CFL has a ‘Game Rule Ratio’ in place for their team’s rosters. The rule limits how many American players are allowed on rosters when the season starts.
Because of the unique circumstances surrounding the upcoming shortened CFL season. The new guidelines will make things even more challenging for International players in their hopes of making a roster.
On game days, Each CFL team may have a maximum of 44 players, including two players who shall be identified as quarterbacks and 42 other players, of whom no more than 20 can be American players.
So with that in mind, it could limit how many of these XFL players end up making CFL regular-season rosters. It’s a rule that the CFL has had in place for a long time now to protect its homegrown sport and national players.
The odds are always against American players in gaining entry onto regular-season CFL rosters. So the overall list will be significantly reduced when the season starts.
For XFL fans, this is a list of players to keep track of during the CFL season. I suspect that many XFL enthusiasts will be turning their attention to the Canadian game due to the recent talks between both leagues and because of their familiarity with these players.
Former XFL Players On 2021 CFL Rosters (82)
BC Lions (6)
RB- James Butler- Houston Roughnecks
WR- Jazz Ferguson- Dallas Renegades
OL- Kent Perkins- St. Louis BattleHawks
DE- Obum Gwacham- Tampa Bay Vipers
CB- Ajene Harris- Houston Roughnecks
DB-Nydair Rouse- New York Guardians
Calgary Stampeders (11)
RB- Brandon Wilds- Tampa Bay Vipers/Team 9
RB- Trey Williams- Seattle Dragons
WR- Dan Williams- Tampa Bay Vipers
WR- Nick Holley- Houston Roughnecks
WR- Bernard Reedy- New York Guardians
OL- Jordan Morgan- DC Defenders
DE- Jarrell Owens- New York Guardians
DE- Tarvaris Barnes- DC Defenders
LB- Jameer Thurman- DC Defenders
S- Marcellis Branch- Tampa Bay Vipers
S- Trae Elston- Houston Roughnecks
Edmonton Elks (8)
Head Coach- Jaime Elizondo- Tampa Bay Vipers OC
QB- Taylor Cornelius- Tampa Bay Vipers
WR- Jalen Tolliver- Tampa Bay Vipers
WR- Armanti Edwards- Dallas Renegades
OT- De’Ondre Wesley (DC Defenders)
OL- Derek Dennis- New York Guardians
DE- James Folston- Dallas Renegades
DE- Andrew Ankrah- St. Louis BattleHawks
S- Robert Priester- Tampa Bay Vipers
Saskatchewan Roughriders (8)
WR- Sammie Coates- Houston Roughnecks
WR- Demarcus Ayers- New York Guardians
WR- Kermit Whitfield- Los Angeles Wildcats
OL- Cyrus Kouandjio- New York Guardians
DE- Markus Jones- St. Louis/Dallas/Team 9
LB- Demarquis Gates- Houston Roughnecks
CB- Jeremy Clark- Seattle Dragons
S- AJ Hendy- New York Guardians
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11)
WR- Carlton Agudosi- St. Louis BattleHawks
WR- Davon Grayson- St. Louis BattleHawks
WR- Alonzo Russell- St. Louis BattleHawks
WR- Mekale McKay- New York Guardians
WR- Blake Jackson- Houston Roughnecks
DL- Ricky Walker- Tampa Bay Vipers
CB- Ranthony Texada- New York Guardians
CB- Deatrick Nichols- Houston Roughnecks
CB- Marwin Evans- Dallas Renegades
CB- Terrence Alexander- New York Guardians
S- Demetrious Cox- New York Guardians
DB- Jeremiah Johnson- Houston Roughnecks
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8)
WR- Cam Phillips- Houston Roughnecks
WR- Dontez Byrd- Seattle Dragons
WR- Steven Dunbar- Dallas Renegades
WR- Kahlil Lewis- Houston Roughnecks
LB/S/KR- Joe Powell- St. Louis BattleHawks
CB- Channing Stribling- Seattle Dragons
CB- Desmond Lawrence- DC Defenders
CB- Herb Waters- Tampa Bay Vipers
Montreal Alouettes (9)
WR- Eli Rogers- DC Defenders
WR- Rashad Ross- DC Defenders
WR- Nelson Spruce- Los Angeles Wildcats
WR- Jordan Lasley- St. Louis BattleHawks
WR- Teo Reddick- New York Guardians
OL- Cole Boozer- DC Defenders
LB- Tre Watson- Dallas Renegades
CB- Jermaine Ponder- Seattle Dragons
CB- Prince Charles Iworah- (Team 9)
DB- Wesley Sutton- New York Guardians
Toronto Argonauts (12)
RB- Matt Colburn- New York Guardians
WR- Daniel Braverman- St. Louis BattleHawks
WR- Jawill Davis- Tampa Bay Vipers
WR- Keyarris Garrett- Los Angeles Wildcats
OL- Dejon Allen- St. Louis BattleHawks/New York Guardians
DE- Shawn Oakman- Los Angeles Wildcats
DE- Kony Ealy- Houston Roughnecks
DE- Dewayne Hendrix- St. Louis Battlehawks
DT- Khyri Thornton- St. Louis BattleHawks
LB- Reshard Cliett- Dallas Renegades
DB- Tavarus McFadden- Tampa Bay Vipers
S- Treston DeCoud- Dallas Renegades
Ottawa REDBLACKS (9)
QB- Chase Litton- Tampa Bay Vipers/Seattle Dragons
QB- Taryn Christion- Los Angeles Wildcats
OL- Na’Ty Rodgers- Tampa Bay Vipers
WR- Jalen Saunders- Houston Roughnecks
LB– D’Juan Hines- New York Guardians
LB- Jawaun Johnson-New York Guardians
LB- Nicholas Grigsby- St. Louis BattleHawks
CB- Jonathan Alston- Seattle Dragons
DB- Shamarko Thomas- DC Defenders/New York Guardians
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