XFL Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The XFL has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, per Darren Rovell. The filing revealed that the WWE did have partial ownership of the league at 23.5%. Other creditors included Dallas Coach Bob Stoops ($1M), Marc Trestman ($777K), as well as Ticketmaster ($655K), and other coaches investing $583K each.

Vince McMahon had been reported to be willing to put around $500 million into the league, but according to Forbes, his net worth has dropped $1B in the last year. 

After the XFL suspended day to day operations on Friday, there was still hope that the league would return in 2021. This breaking news makes that very unlikely, signaling the end of the line for the XFL officially. While Chapter 11 does allow for re-structuring of debts, any bankruptcy filing for a professional sports league is not a good sign. 

In a statement the league expressed its regrets:

“The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football. Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, we have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This is a heartbreaking time for many, including our passionate fans, players and staff, and we are thankful to them, our television partners, and the many Americans who rallied to the XFL for the love of football.”

Daniel Kaplan of the Athletic is now also reporting that the XFL is for sale. That would mean trademarks, logos, rights, the whole 9 yards. This would allow for someone other than Vince McMahon to buy the league and maybe take a 3rd run at making it successful in 2021 and beyond. ”

This is a breaking story and will be updated as we continue to receive credible information.

 

XFL Suspends Day to Day Operations

Multiple sources (ESPN’s Field Yates and Kevin Seifert) have confirmed that the XFL is suspending “day to day operations” and will be terminating the majority of their employees. 

XFL COO Jeffery Pollock held a conference call to read a statement and per ESPN’s Field Yates, Pollock said employees were informed of the decision on Friday. 

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo also reported that the XFL will pay employees through Sunday, but there is no confirmation on whether or not the league will return in 2021 and beyond. 

In an audio of the call from Jeffrey Pollack to employees, he said “it’s been no secret how quickly and dramatically the pandemic has affected all of our lives, the lives of so many others, and and the operations of professional sports leagues in the United States and around the world.”

“The XFL as an entity has been hard hit and is affected more directly than most in the sport industry,” Pollack told staffers. “We had no alternative than to stop right in the middle of our first season, just as we were continuing to build our foundation and our future. As a result of the pandemic’s impact and given the uncertainty we are now living with and facing, the decision has been to immediately suspend day-to-day operations of the XFL in Stamford and each of our eight markets. What this means is that everyone’s employment by the XFL is terminated, effective today.”

Pollack then told employees that funds had been deposited into their bank accounts, “providing your earned, but unpaid salary through April 12, plus payment for accrued and unused vacation time.”

A “small skeleton” staff will be present in Stamford, Conn. to allow employees to collect personal belongings from the XFL office, though the coronavirus prevention measures in place mean that the logistics of that move have yet to be determined.

Pollack assured them that the layoffs “had nothing to do with your performance or what was achieved.” He ended by saying that it has “been my absolute pleasure and honor to work to know and work with all of you… I appreciate, love and respect you all.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated as XFLBoard continues to receive credible information

2020 LA Wildcat takeaways and a sneak peak into 2021

LA Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson (Credit XFL.com)

Because of the COVID-19 shortened season, the LA Wildcats only played 5 games in 2020, finishing 2-3. Although this is a smaller sample size than expected, let’s check out some key takeaways from the season, take a look at what players might make the jump to the NFL and look forward to 2021. 

3 Key Takeaways

  1. Josh Johnson can lead this team for at least another season

Josh Johnson, QB for LA, was injured all throughout training camp and did not play in Week 1 against Houston because of a thigh injury that limited Johnson during the entire season. In the 4 games Johnson played, he totaled 1,076 passing yards, 11 touchdown passes with only 2 interceptions. Johnson was 2nd in yard passing, 2nd in touchdowns and led the XFL in QB rating and yards per attempt. Assuming Johnson remains in the XFL with LA, he showed the league that he can and will lead the Wildcats and be one of the best in the league while doing it. Now with PJ Walker gone, Johnson is the clear #1 QB in the entire XFL. 

  1. The Wildcats were not wrong to fire Pepper Johnson

After their disappointing loss in Week 1 against the Roughnecks, the Wildcats fired then defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson after surrendering 25 unanswered points in the 2nd half to Houston. While LA still finished bottom in the league in points allowed, the team was tied for first in the XFL in takeaways and clearly had a defensive unit that was improving under head coach Winston Moss. The Wildcats played uninspired football on defense in Week 1, and that attitude never resurfaced after DC Johnson was let go. With another full training camp for the defense to mesh, their takeaway prowess will help the Wildcats reemerge as one of the most dangerous defensive units in the league in 2021. 

  1. LA needs a running back

The LA Wildcats did not have a running back in the top TWENTY in the league in rushing yards in 2020. Let that sink in. One of the reasons Josh Johnson had so many passing yards is because Elijiah Hood and DuJuan Harris could not be counted on to carry the offensive burden. And this was not a game plan issue, both the LA backs are actually rated lower in the league when you look at yards/carry compared to just total yards. If LA wants to succeed in 2021, pairing Josh Johnson with a dynamic backfield is paramount to success going forward. Getting a running back like CAP in Dallas or the duo backs in Tampa Bay would open up an entire part of the offense that we did not see from the Wildcats this season. 

Wildcats to the NFL?

Who from LA should go to the NFL you ask? What an amazing question with an amazing answer. 

Offense: Josh Johnson, Tre McBride and Nelson Spruce

Defense: Cedric Reed, Mike Stevens and Ahmad Dixon

Overall, in order for LA to have success in 2021, they need an improved running game and more consistency on defense. They have shown as a team that they can create takeaway and have big plays on offense, but both need to be more steady in their production for extended success next season. Just a few more playmakers on both sides of the ball would go a long way for the Los Angeles Wildcats. 

XFL Players signed to NFL Squads

With COVID-19 paralyzing the majority of the sports world, NFL Free Agency has been the main focus of sports fanatics across the country for the last week. Included in that are twelve XFL players who have agreed to NFL contracts at the time of this article.

After the NFL and XFL finally allowed XFL players to make the jump officially on Monday, the best of the XFL have been leaping at the chance to make their mark on the National Football League.

Here are the players from each team that have signed to NFL contracts:

  1. Houston: QB PJ Walker to the Carolina Panthers
  2. Houston:LB DeMarquis Gates to the Minnesota
  3. Houston: CB Deatrick Nichols to the New Orleans Saints
  4. St. Louis: QB Jordan Ta’amu to the Kansas City Chiefs
  5. NY: S Dravon Askew-Henry to the New York Giants
  6. NY: DE Cavon Walker to the Pittsburgh Steelers
  7. NY: OT Jarron Jones to the Pittsburgh Steelers
  8. Dallas: TE Donald Parham to the LA Chargers
  9. Dallas: LS Christian Kuntz to the Pittsburgh Steelers
  10. DC: TE Khari Lee to the Atlanta Falcons
  11. DC: S Tyree Kinnel to the Pittsburgh Steelers
  12. TB: LS Nick Moore to the Baltimare Ravens

PJ Walker signed the most lucrative contract we know of so far, agreeing to a two year $1,565,000 contract with a $150,000 signing bonus.

Jordan Ta’amu will back up NFL superstar and Super Bowl Champion Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, giving the Chiefs a viable backup option who can slide right into the offense if Mahomes is out. This was an emphasis for the Chiefs in the offseason after Mahomes missed two games during the 2019 regular season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed the most XFL players to NFL contracts, bringing 4 XFL athletes to the Steel City. These players are Cavon Walker, Jarron Jones, Christian Kuntz and Tyree Kinnel. Pittsburgh brings the XFL sack leader, a versatile DB in Kinnel and two players in Kuntz and Jones who have played on both sides of the ball in their pro football careers.

While twelve players have made the jump, stars such as Cam Phillips, Josh Johnson, Cardale Jones, and many more XFL standouts have yet to agree to XFL contracts. Look for these players and others to sign NFL deals after the draft, which was recently confirmed by Roger Goodell to be held April 23-25.

In the meantime, with a move that impressed the sports world, the XFL will pay all players their full contracts, even though the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 viral pandemic. Even those twelve players who have agreed to NFL contracts will likely not sign officially until after the NFL draft in order to receive their full financial compensation from the XFL.

So, while you are in quarantine or self-isolation, check out some NFL free agency news or maybe re-watch an old XFL game. In a time where the news is not always good, take solace in the people who after months and years of hard work, will now get a shot at their dream: playing in the National Football League.