Five NFL players you can see in the XFL in February
The XFL is back. Well, a version owned by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and professional bodybuilder Dany Garcia, that promises to be “fast-paced” and have “innovative rules.” So even if the standard of football might not meet the NFL it should be entertaining. One NFL player you will be seeing in the XFL is Rod Woodson. The 11-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner will be head coach of the Vegas Vipers (I like them already). Dr. Jen Welter joins Woodson’s coaching team in the desert as linebackers coach so the Vipers defence will certainly know what they’re doing.
Armstead was one of a long list of running backs that Jacksonville drafted and then forgot about. Like Denard Robinson, Storm Johnson and Jordan Todman Armstead looked good in preseason. But only featured sporadically in regular season games. He recorded 348 yards from scrimmage in his two years as a Jaguar and caught two touchdown passes from Gardner Minshew.
In the XFL he’ll be a D.C Defender who might have a rough season. So it’ll be very similar to Armstead’s time in Jacksonville then.
Latimer played six seasons in the NFL. Four with the Broncos and two in New York as a Giant. 2019 was his best showing despite the Giants ending the season 4-12 under Pat Shurmur. Latimer caught 24 passes (five more than his previous best season) for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Despite a scouting report that said he lacked explosiveness and highlighted the fact he was a standout basketball player in school the Broncos still drafted Latimer in the second round. He went on to catch just 35 passes in his four seasons in Denver.
In February he’ll be coached by another former New York Giant Terrell Buckley as a member of the Orlando Guardians
The big Aussie punter played a total of four seasons in the NFL. He began with a single season as a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2014 and then spent three seasons as a Giant. He averaged 44.7 yards per punt across his NFL career, but he wasn’t as successful when it came to fake punts. His single passing attempt resulted in an interception.
Wing will be lining up for the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL who are coached by fellow Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward, although Ward’s career in the City of Bridges pre-dates Wing’s.
Elam spent four seasons as a Raven (but missed the entire 2015 season with a torn bicep) making 89 tackles and an interception in that time. He was the 32nd pick in the 2013 draft out of Urban Meyer’s program at the University of Florida, but after such a serious injury and a few run ins with the law the Ravens didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. In 2018 he resurfaced as a Saskatchewan Roughrider in the CFL and has spent time in several other leagues including as a D.C Defender in the last incarnation of the XFL back in 2020.
This time round he’ll be on the Orlando Guardians roster.
Elam will be joined in Orlando by another AFC North alum, Eli Rogers. Rogers spent three years as a Pittsburgh Steeler catching 78 passes for 822 yards and four touchdowns. His career in Pittsburgh stuttered after he suffered a torn ACL in the 2017 playoffs which kept him out until December 2018. Rogers was a D.C Defender in 2020 too and since then he has been on the Montreal Alouettes and Tampa Bay Bandits’ practice squads.
Rogers is 30 and if he can stay healthy, he could be the best slot receiver in the league.
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Banner Image: WR Matt Elam was in the NFL with the Ravens. Now he will be an Orlando Guardian. Image from usatoday