Tampa Bay Vipers

The XFL is eying a 2021 reboot in a ‘bubble,’ so what’s next for the Tampa Bay Vipers?

The Vipers and the XFL as a whole have a lot of questions that need to be answered in an incredibly short amount of time.

Screen Shot20200827At11 03 49AMPhoto via Tampa Bay Vipers/Facebook

The XFL has been bought by an ownership group spearheaded by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the group is looking for the league to start back up again in February 2021.

Now, don’t get too excited; the league has shown interest in planning a season played in one “hub” city, according to an article posted by the XFL News Hub. The season would be 12 weeks, ending in April 2021. The article also detailed the various other aspects of what a reboot would have to entail, including rehiring people, signing and drafting new players, having to rehire/search for coaches, etc. 

For the Vipers, this could be a wonderful opportunity to hit the restart button on what was an incredibly disappointing season (hi, a 1-4 start) despite a lot of early-season predictions having the Vipers as favorites to win it all. 

The team can search for some new talent, maybe even consider hiring a new coach (Steve Spurrier has shown interest in coaching in the XFL, according to a Tweet from The Athletic’s Josh Kendall), and turn things around for the Vipers. The XFL was reportedly looking at upgrading the quarterback position across the board (according to another XFL News Hub article), including guys such as Josh Rosen and Paxton Lynch. 

It would be crazy to think about a former first-round pick having to leave the NFL to get a starting quarterback job only three years after being drafted, but if the opportunity arose, the Vipers would be wise to bite. Rosen may not have had great success in the NFL, but holy crap were the teams he was on bad. The Cardinals were the worst team in the NFL when Rosen was at the helm. A quarterback may be partially responsible for a team going 3-13, but the rest of the team has to be pretty putrid too. 

The addition of Rosen would be helpful, but the Vipers would have some other problems that they would need to address, assuming they can bring back the majority of their players. Who’s to say all of the players would be willing to risk their own personal health and leave their families for three months just to play in a league that might go bankrupt again? 

The Vipers and the XFL as a whole have a lot of questions that need to be answered in an incredibly short amount of time. While excitement around the new ownership is warranted, it might be a bit premature given the current climate (we’re in a pandemic). 

Fingers crossed.

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