XFL officially cancels inaugural season, reveals when players can sign with NFL or CFL teams


On Friday, the XFL announced that they would be canceling the remainder of their inaugural season due to COVID-19. The league originally decided to suspend play, but made the ultimate choice to cancel the remainder of the season due to the pandemic.

Following the decision to suspend play last week, a memo was sent to XFL players that stated “all players who receive a written request to negotiate, and/or sign, a contract with any professional team will be released from their contracts upon executing an XFL notice of termination.” 

Here’s the official statement from the XFL on their decision to close up shop for 2020:

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the most recent local and state regulations, have left the XFL no choice but to officially cancel the remainder of the 2020 season. This decision has been made with the health and safety of the entire XFL family as our top priority. 

While we are disappointed to not complete the 2020 season, our hearts are full of appreciation for your overwhelming support.

Your passion, your commitment to your favorite XFL team and your love of football made our season a success beyond our wildest dreams. We’re grateful for the incredible response and look forward to playing full seasons for you — and with you —  in 2021 and beyond.

When our teams return to the field, we’ll make every effort to ensure your faith in us is rewarded with even more fun and excitement. Your passion is our purpose, and everything we do, every day and for every season to come, is For the Love of Football. 

We hope you will stay connected to our league and team social and digital channels for news, features, and updates along the way. 

From all of us at the XFL, be safe, stay healthy, and, again, thank you. Here’s to 2021!

Also on Friday, John McMullen reported that the XFL had informed its players that they will be free to sign with NFL or Canadian Football League teams on Monday, March 23 upon execution of an XFL Notice of Contract Termination. It appears this date was agreed to by both the NFL and XFL, as Kevin Seifert of ESPN reported that NFL teams may begin signing XFL players on Monday at 9 a.m. ET.

The coronavirus may again throw a monkey wrench into this process, however, as teams are having trouble issuing physicals. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported earlier this week that players are prohibited from entering club facilities through March 31 and thus can’t have physical exams there. Similar to free agents, clubs can contact a physician near the player’s home — but some teams aren’t comfortable with that.

The memo NFL executives and coaches received also recommended that clubs “should consider including contingency language in trade agreements to account for a scenario where a player is unable to take and pass a physical …” because of special rules regarding the coronavirus.  

Either way, there is sure to be plenty of interest. The Houston Roughnecks’ quarterback-receiver duo of P.J. Walker and Cam Phillips are sure to receive some interest. It seemed like every week one of them won the XFL “Star of the Week” Award. My colleague R.J. White wrote a piece on five XFL players who could land on their feet in the NFL this upcoming season. Check it out here.





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