XFL to NFL: By the Numbers

With the NFL regular season upon us, I wanted to share some of the data I collected regarding XFL players working out and signing with NFL teams during training camp. These players will continue to cycle on and off rosters and practice squads throughout the regular season, and I’ll be keeping track of those moves as well. Here are some numbers of note:

*63 XFL player signed 66 contracts with NFL teams between May 15 (the first day XFL players could sign with NFL teams) and August 23. RB Jacques Patrick, DT Matthew Gotel, and DT Tomasi Laulile each spent time with two different teams this summer.

*The Atlanta Falcons led the way, signing 10 XFL players during that span. They also had two players from XFL 2020 on their 90-man summer roster, bringing their total XFL representation to 12.

*Speaking of 2020, 17 XFL 2020 players attended training camp with NFL teams. Six are currently on regular season rosters, one is on injured reserve, and five others are on practice squads.

*Of the 63 players who attended NFL training camps, the St. Louis Battlehawks put the most in the league with 14. The San Antonio Brahmas were second with 10.

*During the 2023 XFL season, defensive linemen dominated offensive lines across the league. It should be no surprise then that defensive line was the position that NFL teams poached most: 15 defensive linemen signed with NFL teams, compared to just seven offensive linemen. The second-most popular position was wide receiver at 14.

*Despite the XFL’s best efforts to recruit high-level quarterbacks, and hiring Jordan Palmer to work with many of them, just three QBs signed with NFL teams this summer.

*According to my records, which are admittedly incomplete, 110 XFL players tried out for NFL teams. That represents more than one-quarter of the players that ended the season on XFL rosters.

*Those 110 players worked out 180 times, according to information compiled from several sources, most notably the XFL Communications Department, KPRC 2 Houston’s Aaron Wilson, and PHNX’s Howard Balzer.

*Most popular on the workout circuit was Sea Dragons WR Jahcour Pearson, who had workouts with seven teams, though he never signed. Close behind in second was Renegades CB Jordan Miller with six. Another Renegade, TE Sal Cannella, had four workouts, as did Sea Dragons CB Olaijah Griffin.

*Just one XFL 2023 player made the initial 53-man roster of an NFL team: P Dan Whelan of the DC Defenders, now of the Green Bay Packers.

*While they don’t count as part of their teams’ active rosters, three other players are still with teams, but on injured lists: WR Charleston Rambo with the Philadelphia Eagles and TE Brandon Dillon with the Washington Commanders are both on injured reserve. They are out for the year unless they reach an injury settlement and become free agents, which could happen at any time. If not, they’ll be carried over onto the off-season roster with their respective teams next year.

DT Austin Faoliu is on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list of the Seattle Seahawks. He will miss at least the first four games of the regular season by virtue of being on this list. His status may be updated after that time.

*Upon the formation of practice squads, 17 XFL 2023 players signed there after being waived on cut-down day. Players on practice squads are free agents who can sign with another team’s active roster at any time. Two per team may be elevated on game days and not count against the 53-man rosters. In the last week since practice squad signings began, two players have been waived and another, OT Barry Wesley of the Falcons, was placed on the practice squad injured list. Signed to take his place was Battlehawks S Lukas Denis, so there are now 15 former XFL players active on practice squads across the league.

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