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XFL suspends operations, lays off all employees

The XFL canceled its season after five weeks, and has now suspended all operations.

Tracy Sprinkle of the DC Defenders celebrates during the XFL game against the St. Louis BattleHawks at Audi Field on March 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo by Shawn Hubbard/XFL via Getty Images

UPDATE 12:39 p.m.: A Seattle reporter tweeted the league will not go forward in 2021. This has been followed by ESPN’s Kevin Seifert and Field Yates reporting the same thing.

The XFL has formally suspended league operations and laid off all employees, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. The league had canceled its inaugural season after five weeks, but had been bullish about returning in 2021. The suspension does not mean it won’t return, but it does not bode well in the short term for spinning operations back up.

NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo is reporting employees will be paid through Sunday. The league had said it would continue paying players their full 2020 base salaries and benefits, but that seems unlikely at this point.

The league had a solid first year, with some decent play and interesting rule changes to shake things up. We saw some names emerge and make their way to the NFL, with Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker leading the way in what was looking like an MVP season.

The XFL started play the week after the Super Bowl, so it has some time over the rest of this year to figure out next steps for a potential 2021 season.