Extra Points: XFL, Giants, Vikings

The AAF may have imploded in spectacular fashion, but that doesn’t mean people are done taking cracks at spring football leagues. Vince McMahon’s XFL is gearing up to start play early next year, and they’ve already made some big hires. They’re now moving on to filling out the rosters, and some recognizable names are resurfacing. We heard a couple days ago that Landry Jones, Aaron Ripkowski, and Christine Michael would be auditioning, and now we have even more names to report. Trevone Boykin, Lance Dunbar, Kony Ealy, and Ahmad Dixon were at a showcase yesterday as well as a handful of other ex-NFLers, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).

According to a tweet from Optimum Scouting’s Erik Galko, former Seahawks receiver Kasen Williams will also be among those trying out. Finally, a tweet posted by the XFL Houston account shows that NFL veterans Will Hill and Robert Meachem also participated in a camp. Meachem is 34 and last played in the NFL with the Saints back in 2014, so this would be quite the comeback. While the XFL will still be facing an uphill battle, they do appear to be in better position than the AAF. McMahon seems fully invested in the league, and the TV deal the league has is far superior. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.

Here’s more from around the football universe:

  • Speaking of the XFL, one of their big hires was when they named Daryl “Moose” Johnston the director of player personnel for their Dallas franchise. Johnston was the GM of the AAF’s San Antonio Commanders, so he has experience in this type of league. Most players in the AAF and XFL were looking to get back to the NFL, and it’s no different for coaches and execs. Johnston wants to be an NFL GM one day, per Machota. Johnston spent all 11 years of his pro career with the Cowboys as a fullback, winning three Super Bowls with the team. He made the Pro Bowl twice and has done a lot of broadcasting work for FOX since retiring.
  • Evan Engram missed the Giants’ recent minicamp, which raised some eyebrows. But thankfully he’s not dealing with anything serious, as Engram said today at Landon Collins‘ charity softball game that the Giants were just being “cautious” by holding him out, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com (Twitter link). He also writes there’s “nothing lingering from last season.” Engram had a breakout rookie season in 2017, but took a step back last year while dealing with injuries. Hamstring and knee injuries limited Engram to just 11 games last year, but he finished strong down the stretch. In each of his last four games he finished with at least 75 yards, so he should be poised for a bounce back 2019 campaign.
  • 2018 first round pick Mike Hughes got off to a solid start last year. The Vikings cornerback had a pick-six in the first game of his career, but his rookie season ended in devastating fashion. The UCF product had his season ended by a torn ACL after just six games, and has been rehabbing ever since. Things appear to be going well, but the team is being cautious with him. To that end, Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer recently said that he wouldn’t get any practice in until training camp at the earliest, per Andrew Kramer of the Star Tribune. We heard recently the Vikings were listening to trade offers for both Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes, which would seem to indicate they’re optimistic about Hughes’ recovery.
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8 comments on “Extra Points: XFL, Giants, Vikings

  1. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    “They’re now moving on to filling out the rosters, and some recognizable names are resurfacing.”

    Doesn’t matter how recognizable the names are… it all comes down to “players not good enough to play in the NFL.”

    • KiahFJ

      Exactly. I won’t be watching. I have the NFL and College Football. If you don’t watch CFL or Arena, then you won’t be watching this most likely.

      • crosseyedlemon

        The talent level is actually irrelevant. High school games can be just as entertaining as any NFL game and are often more so. From a fans perspective a player’s PASSION for the game is more important than his abilities. Unfortunately money has a way of sometimes corrupting an athletes passion and that is when fans start looking for an alternative league to watch.

    • Polish Hammer

      Baseball has so many minor league teams full of “players not good enough to play in” the MLB yet doesn’t prevent them from being good entertainment. I’m all for this and other leagues that provide a platform for the fringe players that need that one extra chance to showcase themselves.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I’m in total agreement Hammer. Pro players do not hold a monopoly on passion for the game. Lower tier leagues can be just as entertaining….and a cost that won’t cripple the budget of the average wage earning fan.

  2. ahale224

    I’ll watch a few to compare it to the disastrous spectacle it briefly was last time. Anybody doing fantasy with this for the novelty of doing it the one season this is around?

  3. crosseyedlemon

    Vince McMahon would be a far better NFL commissioner than Goodell. Vince is supportive of players while that clown currently in charge is only interested in finding new ways to fine and antagonize players (and some owners too).

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