A little over a week after suspending its inaugural season, the XFL announced late last week it was canceling the season. The league completed five weeks, and now its players are set to hit the open market. After a week of limbo, the NFL announced that its clubs could start signing XFL players at 9 a.m. ET on Monday March 23.
The five games create an incredibly limited sample size, but there were some standout performances that will likely get some XFL players into NFL offseason workout programs when they eventually start. We’ll be breaking down the best players at each of the four skill positions, starting with the quarterbacks.
Phillip Walker, Houston Roughnecks
Walker was on track to win the league’s inaugural MVP award, with 15 touchdowns to only four interceptions, 1,338 passing yards, and a 104.4 passer rating. Reports have the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Broncos all in touch with Houston about him. He likely won’t claim a starting job, but his impressive five games makes him all but certain to at least get a chance to compete in a training camp.
Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis BattleHawks
Ta’amu was playing in Walker’s shadow, but had quietly put together an arguably equally impressive season. St. Louis was expected to be one of the worst teams in the league, but after five games held first place in the XFL East. This was due in large part to an impressive run by Ta’amu, who threw for 1,050 yards, five touchdowns to two interceptions, and had a 101.3 passer rating. He also led the league with an adjusted completion percentage of 81.7 (It accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the QB was hit while they threw the ball).
Josh Johnson, Los Angeles Wildcats
Johnson had more NFL experience than anybody in the XFL. Even if the season had not been played, there was a better than even chance Johnson would have spent some amount of time on an NFL roster this coming season. That being said, Johnson had a solid season after missing the opener due to injury. He was third in PFF’s grading system, and finished the season with 1,086 yards, 11 touchdowns to only two interceptions, and a league leading 106.3 passer rating.
Landry Jones, Dallas Renegades
Jones was inconsistent but had shown some solid performances in the Dallas Air Raid attack. However, a knee injury sidelined him in Week 4 and he finished the season with 784 yards, five touchdowns to seven interceptions, and a 77.2 passer rating. He has experience backing up Ben Roethlisberger, and will likely land a chance to compete for a backup role.
Cardale Jones, DC Defenders
Jones got off to a strong start, but after two games, the wheels started falling off and he was benched mid-game before the season suspension. He had a 111.5 passer rating in Week 1 and a 90.4 passer rating in Week 2. He had a 20.7 passer rating in Week 3 and 30.9 in Week 4 and that was it for Jones. His numbers finished sub-par, but given the time he bounced around the NFL, he stands a decent chance of competing for a roster spot.
B.J. Daniels and Luis Perez saw limited playing time early in the season, but got opportunities in Weeks 4 and 5. Daniels has a little more NFL roster experience than Perez, but not much. Both looked good enough in very limited play to at least justify a spot in training camp.