DC Defenders

Here are the XFL players that have signed with NFL teams

Here are the XFL players that have signed with NFL teams

Like almost every major professional sports league across the world, the XFL had to come to a halt earlier this month due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Although the inaugural season of the relaunched XFL lasted just five weeks, the league had its fair share of stars. Once the league officially canceled the remainder of the season last week, the XFL allowed their players to sign NFL contracts starting Monday, March 23.

Here are all the XFL players that have since joined an NFL club.

P.J. Walker, QB, Houston Roughnecks

To no surprise, Walker was the first XFL player to sign an NFL contract, inking a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers on Monday. By joining the Panthers, Walker reunited with his former head coach from the University of Temple, Matt Rhule.

Walker was the biggest star in the XFL's first season. The 5-foot-11 signal-caller led the league in passing yards (1,338) and touchdown passes (15) while leading the Roughnecks to an undefeated 5-0 record. With Cam Newton and Kyle Allen no longer in Carolina, Walker will likely battle with Will Grier for the backup job behind newly-signed QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Jordan Ta'amu, QB, St. Louis Battlehawks

Walker grabbed all the headlines, but Ta'amu was a star in his own right. The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have inked Ta'amu to a one-year deal, where he'll compete with longtime NFL veteran Chad Henne for the backup role behind Patrick Mahomes.

Ta'amu led the Battlehawks to a 3-2 record and was the XFL's leader in passer rating (82.8) and completion percentage (72.4%) and third with 1,050 yards passing. Ta'amu was undrafted in 2019 out of Ole Miss and spent time with the Houston Texans during training camp before playing in the XFL.

Deatrick Nichols, DB, Houston Roughnecks

Nichols, the XFL's interception leader, has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, the team announced on Tuesday. The 25-year-old has NFL experience before, as he played six games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 after being undrafted from the University of South Florida. 

Dravon Askew-Henry, DB, New York Guardians

The cousin of longtime New York Jets standout has reportedly signed a two-year deal with the New York Giants, according to NFL Networks Ian Rapoport. Prior to the XFL, Askew-Henry was a standout for the University of West Virginia.

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Report: XFL seeking new ownership after bankruptcy filing

Report: XFL seeking new ownership after bankruptcy filing

One month after filing for bankruptcy, the XFL is reportedly seeking new ownership in an attempt to save the league, according to Axios

Axios obtained documents that show an investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, managing the process, with letter of intent due by June 12 and formal bids due on July 6. 

The XFL claims to have been on pace to generate $46 million in revenue during its inaugural season. According to Axios' report, the league also had an average game attendance of 20,000 and 1.9 million average broadcast viewers for the nationally distributed games.

But the pandemic forced the league to cancel the rest of the season, suspend operations and lay off employees.

It was an abrupt move that left players, coaches and other team and league personnel wondering what's next. Some players parlayed XFL success to opportunities in the NFL, and former D.C. Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton landed on his feet with a professional gig with the Chargers. But that's not the case for the vast majority who were involved. 

If investors chose to revive the league, it would be done in the uncertain times currently swirling during the pandemic. Complicating matters is the indefinite timetable of the pandemic's duration. 

Dan Primack of Axios spoke to industry investors who are skeptical of somebody stepping forward to buy the entire league. But, those sources also acknowledged that sports can be unpredictable. 

"There are lots of people who are very rich but not rich enough to own an NFL team, so maybe someone will see this as the next best thing at a bargain price," one source said.

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Former XFL Defenders coach Pep Hamilton expected to go to Chargers, source says

Former XFL Defenders coach Pep Hamilton expected to go to Chargers, source says

Former XFL Defenders coach Pep Hamilton is heading to the Chargers to be the team's new quarterbacks coach though the deal is not yet official, a source with knowledge of the situation told NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson. 

Hamilton led the Defenders to an exciting start in their inaugural season in Washington before league ceased operations earlier this month due to the effects of the COV-19 virus. 

Before his stint at the Defenders, Hamilton worked in various roles around the NFL, most recently as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns. Immediately before coming to D.C., he was the passing game coordinator and assistant head coach at the University of Michigan.

He started his career at Howard University, where he played quarterback as a student and returned as a quarterbacks coach.

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