As the coronavirus pandemic developed over the past week (get the latest at CBS News), leagues around the United States and beyond made the decision to cancel or suspend events, games and even entire seasons. That includes the XFL, which announced on Thursday that play would be suspended with the season half over.
One interesting development to come from the premature ending of the XFL season is its players being released from their contracts earlier than anticipated. In fact, the timing will allow those players to sign with interested NFL teams immediately following their exit physicals, which are scheduled to take place on Friday, per NFL.com's Tom Pelissero.
With NFL teams gearing up for free agency (the legal tampering period is still tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday), more options are now on the table for personnel departments that have been keeping up with the reborn league since it kicked off the weekend following the Super Bowl. Here are five players we think did enough to earn a spot on an NFL team over the first (and only) five weeks of the XFL season.
1. QB P.J. Walker
Walker, 25, was far and away the favorite to win the XFL's MVP award over the first half of the season, leading the league with 1,338 passing yards and 15 passing touchdowns while throwing just four picks. His yardage total came in 264 yards higher than the next closest passer, a number many QBs failed to hit on any given week, while he threw 26.3% of all passing touchdowns in the league.
Now, Walker wasn't without his blemishes, particularly in the last two weeks, when he threw a couple of awful interceptions and was lucky not to have more, but he showed enough talent with his arm and his mobility (rushing for 104 yards on 17 carries in the first four weeks before several kneel-downs suppressed his overall numbers in his final game) that a team should be willing to take a chance on him as a backup.
The former Colts backup would figure to fit nicely as an understudy to Kyler Murray in Carolina, but he's also a logical fit to land in Carolina, where his former college coach Matt Rhule just took over the head job.
2. WR Cam Phillips