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USFL has 18 Former Players Drafted to the XFL With More to Come

Three days of the XFL draft have come and gone with USFL on the outside looking in. With 55 USFL players earning NFL contracts the USFL was most likely hoping that those who were cut would be enroute back to their former employers. While I’m sure the brass at Fox is more than happy to “lose” players to the NFL, losing them to the XFL was not a part of the plan.

Currently there 21 USFL players that are currently on NFL payrolls, throughout the last three days the USFL had 18 of their former players get drafted to XFL teams. While the USFL had three of its players return to their teams (Tucker Addington LS, Matt Colburn RB, and Devin Gray WR), I’m sure the Brian Woods and company were hoping to retain players like Sal Cannella, Kyle Sloter, and Channing Stribling in effort to maximize name recognition, competition, and continuity for the league. Right now, there are 13 former USFL players currently as “free agents”, either waiting for an NFL to call, or maybe for the supplemental XFL draft in January of 2023.

The USFL saw ten of its coaches joins XFL teams, so it was only inevitable that players would defect as well. While I’m sure there was sigh of relief when Addington, Colburn, and Gray returned, I’m sure the USFL was hoping more players would return as the NFL season continued and maybe the phone was as active for USFL alumni. So far, the USFL lost Five members of their 2022 All-USFL Team, in addition several players with NFL experience. While some of these players were sure to leave due to ties to former coaches and XFL 2.0 teams, the departure of these players surely hurts.

USFL PlayersPositionUSFL TeamNFL TeamXFL TeamResultCareer NFL Earnings
Doug CostinDLStallionsSteelersRenegadesReleased 16Aug XFL 16Nov$1,053,602
Sal CannellaTEBreakersPackersRenegadesReleased XFL 16Nov$0
Channing StriblingCBStarsCommandersBattlehawksReleased XFL 16Nov$108,800
DeJaun NealDBGeneralsCommandersDefenders30Aug Released XFL 16 Nov$0
Luis PerezQBGeneralsRamsVipersReleased 16Aug 15Nov XFL$15,200
Kyle SloterQBBreakersJaguarsRenegadesReleased 9Aug 15Nov XFL$1,409,322
Rashard DavisWRBanditsJetsSea DragonsReleased 16Aug Nov16$196,718
Garrett McGhinOLGeneralsGiantsRenegadesPS Giants/Released 16 Nov$409,878
Shakur BrownCBMaulersTitansRengadesReleased 16Nov XFL$61,800
De’Vante BausbyCBGeneralsCommandersRenegadesReleased 16 Aug 16 Nov XFL$2,219,948
Terell BondsCBMaulersTitansBrahmasReleased 14Aug 16 Nov XFL$696,253
Darrius ShepardWRGeneralsBroncosBattlehawksPS Broncos Cut 11Oct 16 Nov XFL$909,647
Quinton MeeksCBBanditsSaintsBattlehawksCut 30 August 16 Nov XFL$881,793
Cameron HuntOLStallionsChargersRenegadesReleased 22 Aug 16Nov XFL$535,605
Dexter WilliamsRBStarsPackersRenegadesCut 30 August 16Nov XFL$1,059,855
Jameson HoustonCBPanthersSeahawksVipersCut 29 Aug 16 Nov XFL$182,164
DeAndre TorreyRBPanthersEaglesVipersCut 22 Aug 16Nov XFL$0
Devin HaffordCBMaulersPatriotsRoughnecksWaived Aug20 16Nov XFL$0
USFL to XFL Players

Even though there were 18 players who were signed NFL contracts left the USFL, many former USFL players who were released mid-way through the USFL season. Jeff Badet, Manasseh Bailey, Daishawn Dixon, and Michael Carrizosa are just of the names of players with USFL ties.

The most notable loses include Sal Cannella, De’Vante Bausby, Channing Stribling, Kyle Sloter, Luis Perez, Cameron Hunt, and Garrett McGhin. While every player coming back to the USFL was obviously the goal thus their transition hurts losing two All-League Offensive Linemen, and consistent figures at Quarterback definitely hurts the league in many folds. With Alt-league football often criticized for inconsistent QB and Line play, the loss of those four players will be hard to fill.

Another Caveat to the XFL drafting USFL players is the possibility of the “release” of USFL players post December 31st. With names like Bryan Scott, Jordan Ta’amu, and Devin Ross all rumored of trying to transition to the XFL, the USFL could be facing even more players joining the “other” league.

With two spring football leagues, the FCF, and the IFL looking to solidify itself in world of Alt-Football, the bidding wars for talent is in full-swing. As we’ve seen on all levels of Football the talent is everywhere especially with several talented players in the XFL draft pool not selected. For the USFL to survive it’s crucial for them to continue find talented offensive linemen and quarterbacks to ensure fun, safe, and effective play for spring of 2023. Regardless for leagues like the XFL and USFL it seems we as fans will have the opportunity to see a bunch of young men living out their dreams play paid professional football.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging out with his dogs in his off time.



  1. Ken Granito

    November 20, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    First of all, really well written article. I liked all your points and with the exactly correct amount of concern. It should be very concerning to the league, but you did not embellish. The fact only 3 people have signed back with the USFL is disconcerting. What the USFL has going for it is the experience and drive in the coaching staff and the fact that there are only so many positions in the new league. That along with there being a certain amount of NFL Academy will take away some of those positions as well. It should be interesting to see where we stand come January.

  2. 4th&long

    November 21, 2022 at 10:59 am

    I think its unrealistic to think that one league will not lose players to the other league, especially as FA’s – it happens in the NFL from team to team. 18 players (and maybe many more) represents less than 5 % of the roster size of all USFL teams and that excludes players cut or injured for the season. So its way less than 5%. The USFL likely made a mistake not signing 2 year contracts but with possible XFL on horizon it may have scared players from signing.
    The spring FB wars are on, XFL may be opening checkbook more right now (mostly for QBs) but is it sustainable, that’s the big question.
    Also with XFL playing first, it likely makes sense to sign with them as you can get money and even if cut can sign with USFL later.

  3. Ken Granito

    November 21, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    Agreed. And since there are only 8 rosters to fill out in each league and a good number of players already remain unsigned hoping to be signed to an NFL roster there should be talent to go around. It should also be interesting to see what happens with the CFL talent, now that their season is over. I wanted to see Chad Kelly signed to the Gamblers even before his heroic Grey Cup performance.

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