Eight XFL teams completed the last major hurdle before the new 2020 season begins on February when they filled out their 52-man rosters. XFL teams had to trim down their rosters from 70 players to 52. Some got cut. Others are celebrating the idea of playing three more months of competitive football.
Like the NFL, XFL fans are were prone to seeing surprise cuts that might catch them off guard. The same could be said in regards to players who didn’t make the final rosters on their respective teams. Not only were there cuts made that might shock some, but there were some surprising or big-name signings as well around the XFL.
Shawn Oakman, Defensive End, LA Wildcats
Baylor had a defensive star in defensive end Shawn Oakman. His off the field issues scared off the NFL from signing him. The LA Wildcats drafted him and became the face of the franchise and the league. Oakman then found himself cut from the team at minicamp. It is rumored to be locker room issues as to the reason he was cut.
Oakman never played a down in training camp and wasn’t on a roster. Until now. The LA Wildcats brought him back onto the team. It will be interesting to hear what head coach Winston Moss says about the move. Oakman should play a key role on the defensive line as he is a great pass rusher that will get to the quarterback often.
Garrett Hartley, Kicker, Seattle Dragons
The name that football hasn’t heard about in about five years has resurfaced into the XFL to add star power. Former New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley signed with the Seattle Dragons after trying out at the end of training camp. Hartley replaces Cole Tracy after he was cut by the Dragons.
He converted about 81% of his kicks in his NFL career. The long time kicker was part of the reason the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009 after kicking the game-winner in the NFC title game against the Minnesota Vikings and making three field goals in their Super Bowl win against the Indianapolis Colts. He joins LA Wildcats kicker Nick Novak as the most experienced kickers in the league. He’s a name fan will recognize and will be interesting to see how he fairs after four and a half years away from the game.
Notable Signings From Cuts
Simmie Cobbs Jr., Wide Receiver, DC Defenders
The Dallas Renegeades surprised many by cutting Simmie Cobbs Jr. Many fans believed he had a strong showing in camp. During training camp, he emerged as he ran great routes and has strong hands. He was especially great at crossing routes against defenses. He has a ton of talent, but the problem lies with the depth of the Renegades receiving core. The emergence of Jazz Ferguson made things tough for him as well.
DC Defenders were able to get him by the waiver assignment from the XFL. The rich keep getting richer as they add him to an already deep receiving core. That group includes new addition Rashad Ross, Eli Rogers, DeAndre Thompkins, and Malachi Dupre. Head coach Pep Hamilton will need to look at how quickly he learns the offense and see if he is ready to play more before the season.
Jonathan Massaquoi, Linebacker, DC Defenders
DC Defenders got another gift from the Dallas Renegades as they pick up Jonathan Massaquoi. The veteran linebacker played well for the Renegades at linebacker, but they had a lot of talent at outside linebacker that was too much for him to overcome. He’s got a lot of speed and fits with any 3-4 scheme. He can play defensive end or linebacker in the defense. He should provide depth for the Defenders linebacker core.
Rahim Moore, Safety, Cut by DC Defenders
Rahim Moore is a veteran defensive back that can lead any defense. The addition of Shamarko Thomas in the three-team trade involving New York and LA made things interesting. One of the starting safeties will be Matt Elam.
Moore is a solid tackler who has the nose for the football. He will be 30 on February 11th which could work against him as it looks like some XFL teams are choosing younger players. Will there be a team that signs him?
Terrance Williams, Wide Receiver, Cut by St. Louis BattleHawks
Terrance Williams joined the team after some time off from his Dallas Cowboys career. He and Quinton Patton were seen as the top receivers in mini-camp, but now both are out. L’Damian Washington and Keith Mumphrey along with Brandon Riley and Alonzo Russell will show the youth movement in St. Louis.
Williams’ big frame makes him a great possession receiver. The issue lies with his off the field issues that kept him out of the NFL. He was figuring this to be a second chance to get him back into the NFL. Williams might get a spot on Team Nine, but figuring his age and status of his former career, it is highly doubtful.
Brogan Roback, Quarterback, Cut by St. Louis BattleHawks
This comes as a surprise as Brogan Roback was in the conversation for starting quarterback with Jordan Ta’Amu and Taylor Heinicke. Things changed when they brought in former Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. The BattleHawks couldn’t keep four quarterbacks so it was between Roback and Heinicke. Roback has a great arm as he loves his deep ball, but he has a tendency of misreading coverages. He’s raw, but someone that could be considered for Team Nine.
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