In the past month, we’ve got a good look at our eight XFL teams through mini-camps, training camp and preseason scrimmages. A lot of players are gunning for each team’s final 52 spots, and there have been a lot of moves in the past couple weeks as teams fill out their depth charts. However, cuts are coming, and teams will be trimming about 20 players from their camp rosters.
Teams have been carrying roughly 70 players through camp, and come Monday, January 27th at noon E.T., we’ll see who made the final cut. For those who didn’t make it, there are options abound, as they could get picked up by NFL practice squads, go north to the CFL, or end up in either the Spring League or the XFL’s Team Nine.
Team Nine is a new concept brought up by the League Office and is essentially the XFL’s collective practice squad. Players will practice and stay in game shape during the season, and any teams who lose a player to injury or circumstance can shore up their roster with Team Nine selections.
This squad will cover all positions on the field and will consist of the XFL’s best 35-40 players who didn’t make final rosters. We’re unsure if players will be taken via waivers or free agency from this pool, but we’ll keep you posted as more details flow in.
The XFL’s squads have some deep positional groups, so cuts will be tough. Lets go through a quick rundown of players who could be on the bubble.
Roster Bubble Players
The New York Guardians and St. Louis Battlehawks have 4 QB’s each, and will likely roll into the season with 3 max. In New York, they just traded for Luis Perez and Matt McGloin is entrenched as the starter. Thus I think Garrett Fugate and Marquise Williams will be competing for that last spot, and the other could end up looking for work elsewhere.
The BattleHawks face a similar situation, with Jordan Ta’amu and Taylor Heinicke splitting first team reps, Brogan Roback and the newly acquired Nick Fitzgerald will be battling for the QB3 spot.
Another hotly contested battle will be going on in Dallas in the WR room, and while a deeply talented group including Jeff Badet, Jazz Ferguson, Simmie Cobbs Jr, and Jerrod Heard will probably headline this group, there are some great guys fighting for those last couple spots.
The newly acquired Freddie Martino is a solid NFL vet who’s produced for the Falcons, Eagles, and Buccaneers, and brings some great experience to that room. Flynn Nagel, Floyd Allen, James Quick, and Carl Whitley have all had their moments in camp, but it’ll likely come down to just one of them as Bob Stoops makes his cuts.
The Seattle Dragons will likely heavily use Tight Ends in Jim Zorn’s system, but teams typically don’t carry 5 TE’s on the final roster. Evan Rodriguez and Connor Hamlett are the wiley vets of the group, and I’m betting Zorn wants to keep some NFL experience in the group. Ben Johnson was productive at Kansas and brings great youth and athleticism to that offense.
Behind that, it’s a little less clear. Cameron Clear-Texas A&M and Colin Jeter-LSU both played at big-time schools, but neither put up massive production or has stood apart from the rest in camp. Both have potential, but only one of the two is likely to make the team.
It’ll likely be another hectic weekend of cuts, signings, and trades, but our own @XFLKonnor is tracking everything on twitter. Be sure to keep up with him if you want to stay current.