Saturday, October 31, 2020

XFL: Players free to sign with NFL teams, who has a chance of making it to the league?

The rebooted XFL has come to a premature end as the league commissioner, Oliver Luck, has called a halt to the leagued due to COVID-19. This means that, once the players have completed their exit medical, they will be free to sign with teams from the NFL or any other league.

The XFL is just the latest in a long line of leagues to close their doors, at the very least on a temporary basis. The NBA was the first major league in the US to do so after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. Since then, the NHL, MLS, MLB, Premier League and just about every other major league in the world has followed suit.

XFL statement in full

“Currently, the XFL will not be playing its regular-season games. However, all players will be paid their base pay and benefits for the 2020 regular season.

“All XFL ticket holders will be issued refunds or credit toward future games. The XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.”

Will any of the XFL stars be able to find a home in the NFL?

There are a number of stars in the XFL who have more than made their mark over the few weeks of football we’ve had the pleasure to indulge in. The likes of PJ Walker and Jordan Ta’amu will surely be turning heads in the NFL.

PJ Walker was, without a doubt, the standout player from the 2020 XFL season. He lead the league with 1,338 passing yards and 15 passing touchdowns, throwing just four picks. He also developed a brilliant relationship with WR Cam Phillips – helping the Houston Roughnecks to an impressive 5-0 record.

Phillips was by far and away the standout receiving talent in the rebooted XFL. In his five games, he caught 31 passes on 44 targets for 455 yards and nine touchdowns, all league-high numbers. Surely there will be a number of NFL teams looking toward the 24-year-old to give their receiving corp an injection of talent without using a pick.

Another player I very much enjoyed watching was St Louis Battlehawks QB Jordan Ta’amu. The Hawaii native was temporarily a Texan last year having gone undrafted in 2019, but he didn’t make the final cut in Houston. This year though, things could very well be different.

He demonstrated fantastic ability both through the air and with his legs in his five games in XFL football, and I think he could be a very effective backup QB for an NFL team. As we saw with Lamar Jackson, a dual-threat QB is fast becoming one of the most desirable player types in the NFL, and Ta’amu is certainly part of that category.

Ta’amu racked up 217 yards rushing in the XFL this season, a total that would’ve ranked him 14th in the NFL among Quarterbacks – despite playing in just five games. As well as that, he ranked second only to former NFL QB Josh Johnson in passing yards per attempt with 7.8.

Roughnecks CB Deatrich Nichols and Guardians DT Cavon Walker both caught the eye on the defensive side of the ball too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either land on an NFL pre-season roster – whether or not they will make the final cut for the season, I’m not so sure.

For more coverage of the Coronavirus crisis within sport, follow us on Twitter. Meanwhile, visit our homepage for more stories both COVID-19 related stories and non-depressing stories too…

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