Before any hysterics arise from 3 players leaving the XFL now, I’m just going to say: the sky isn’t falling. It’s unfortunate that these players have left the league, and their teams will miss their skills and depth, but there is no mass exodus of talent. Just gonna nip that in the bud.
The Roughnecks and Defenders both have pairs of experienced NFL safeties, and while these Edwards and Redford are talented it could very well have been an uphill battle for them to start. The Roughnecks have Marqueston Huff and Ed Reynolds, who have 100 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 pass deflections and 2 interceptions in the NFL between them.
The Defenders have the best pair of safeties in the league with Rahim Moore and Matt Elam. These vets have both started for years in the NFL, and have 342 tackles, 24 passes defensed and 10 interceptions combined.
Yet it remains that two XFL Safeties have left the burgeoning league. In the wake of Corey Vereen’s decision to exit over pay, some are wondering if this issue is warding off players. Clearly, if everyone was making six figures, it would be a different story here, and it seems that players around the XFL are disappointed in the loss of the established pay tiers that were originally proposed.
While the salary obviously affected these decisions, I think we also have more extenuating factors that led to Edwards and Redford pursuing other opportunities.
SaQwan Edwards – Houston Roughnecks
SaQwan Edwards has a great size/speed combo at 6’1″ with 4.5 speed, and his play at New Mexico earned him a reserve spot with the Raiders and Giants for the last few years.
Edwards has chosen to play in the IFL and is currently on the Baltimore Brigade’s active roster. After making his exit, he issued a series of tweets that shed light on the situation.
Every decision i make is in the best interest of my family! Thank you @xfl2020 for the opportunity.— Coach Q? (@qwan_o) November 5, 2019
Financial stability and job security #GodSpeed?— Coach Q? (@qwan_o) November 5, 2019
Ball is NOT life, but it can teach you about life.— Coach Q? (@qwan_o) November 7, 2019
Considering that Arena teams pay players $250 per game and $25 win bonuses, his tweet about financial stability likely means that he’s pursuing a career outside the game that allows him to provide for his own without the ups and downs of roster Olympics in pro football.
Arena leagues would allow him to pursue a 9-5 throughout the week and still show up to ball on the weekends, so if he’s looking to get that balance in his life, all power to him. The XFL is a full-time job for the whole season, and he wouldn’t have time to pursue a career elsewhere. At 27 years old, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s started to look forward to his future.
Client @qwan_o has decided to forgo his @xfl2020 opportunity with @XFLRoughnecks and pursue other endeavors. We are grateful for the professionalism shown by the @XFLRoughnecks and wish them the best in their inaugural season.— Logan Brown Sports (@LBSAgent) November 5, 2019
That he’s playing in the IFL shows that he still wants to play, but after years on and off practice squads, he could just be tired of the chase. His agent, Logan Brown emphasized players doing what’s best for themselves and their families, so maybe this way he can still feed his love of the game while also settling down and building a life for himself.
Max Redfield – DC Defenders
Max Redfield was an integral part of Notre Dame’s defense from 2013-2015. He did enough with the Fighting Irish, and the Indiana (Pennsylvania) teams to warrant a spot in the 2018 NFL Combine. He measured up with good size for his position at 6’1″, 205, but only posted a 4.69 40 time.
He offers value as a box safety and played well against the run in college. However, rather than staying on in the XFL and fighting for a roster spot, he’s opted to play for the Italian Football League overseas.
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UPDATE: Defenders S Max Redfield has decided to play in the Italian Football League and will not play for the XFL Follow @xflanalyst for more! Also follow my Twitter! @xflanalyst #xfl #xfl2020 #vincemcmahon #dallasrenegades #houstonroughnecks #losangeleswildcats #seattledragons #newyorkguardians #tampabayvipers #dcdefenders #stlouisbattlehawks #xfldraft2020 #xfldraft
Some may be surprised to hear this, but many European countries have thriving American football fanbases. (The Moscow Black Storm offered Tim Tebow $1 Million to play for them in 2013). The IFL has been around since the 70s, and while most players are unpaid Italian nationals, teams have been known to import and pay for players from the US and Canada.
With this move, Redfield will instantly become one of the top DB prospects and will likely be guaranteed a starting spot. The opportunity to travel the world and see the field is a good one, and we wish Max the best of luck in Italy.