While many of the XFL Supplemental Draft’s new invitees remain a mystery, we got one piece of the puzzle here on Twitter.
It was deleted soon after, but the folks over at thevikingage.com got this screenshot. We’ve pretty much-seen radio silence over who received invites, so this find means we could likely see some really exciting new names tomorrow.
Heinicke has been in the NFL for the past 5 years, and with regular-season starting experience, could be a big boost to any XFL team’s QB room.
He was an unsung hero at Old Dominion, scoring a whopping 154 combined touchdowns in 4 years as a starter. In addition to every single school passing record, he holds the NCAA Division I record for most passing yards in a single game.
Against New Hampshire, Heinicke was an absolute monster, throwing for 730 yards 5 scores to keep his team alive and pull a win out of a 64-61 shootout.
He played impeccably in Division I football for years, flashing great accuracy (67.7% completion), good decision making (132-39 TD/INT) and 4.6 speed that earned him 1,320 rushing yards and 22 scores. Yet somehow he went unnoticed in the NFL Draft.
Scouts bemoaned his height (6’1″) but if watching Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees and Doug Flutie hasn’t convinced you that anyone under 6’5″ can play ball, I cant help you.
If height were a metric of quality quarterback play, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler would be carrying the Denver Broncos to the playoffs year after year on their 6’7″ shoulders. But here we are. Anyways.
After catching on as a UDFA in Minnesota, Heinicke continued his high level of play into preseason action from 2015-2019. With the Vikings, Patriots, Texans, and Panthers he posted 1,311 yards, 10-5 TD/INT, and a 63.3% completion rate.
Last season with the Panthers, he got a chance to start their final game in lieu of an injured Cam Newton. In an up and down performance vs the Falcons, he passed for a touchdown but threw 3 picks as Matt Ryan put on a clinic in a 10-24 loss.
Carolina’s coaching staff saw enough out of his play to bring him back in the offseason and signed him to a one-year contract. Unfortunately for him, they selected Will Grier in the 3rd round of the 2019 Draft, and with Kyle Allen playing starterish-quality football behind Cam, there wasn’t a roster spot for Heinicke and he ended up a free agent.
The Titans worked him out a few weeks ago amid their Mariota-Tannehill struggles, but luckily he remained available to play in the XFL.
I think he’d fit fantastically with the Houston Roughnecks. June Jones’ run and shoot system would fit Heinicke’s skillset well, and they look to have a QB battle on their hands with Phillip Walker and Connor Cook.
Other teams like the Renegades, Battlehawks and Defenders could do well to pick him up as a QB3 at least.