With the AAF no longer a thing, several football players outside of the NFL are looking for work. The next big opportunity appears to be the XFL, which is slated to debut in 2020. To get ready for the season, the XFL is hosting eight different Summer Showcases over the next month to evaluate talent.
Two showcases—Dallas and Houston—have already taken place, and we’ve already seen a few familiar faces. Three former Detroit Lions were on the invite-only list: cornerbacks Ian Wells and Sterling Moore, and defensive tackle Khyri Thornton.
If Wells and Moore don’t sound all that familiar, that’s understandable. Moore spent just 11 days on the Lions’ roster last year, but had seven years of NFL experience before that. Wells was an undrafted rookie signing back in 2016, but a training camp injury landed him on IR. Though he started 2017 on the Lions roster, he didn’t end up making it to training camp that year.
Thornton, though, is a guy all fans should recognize. Thornton spent three years on the Lions roster, tallying 28 tackles and 1.0 sacks over 23 game appearances. In his final year in Detroit, he served a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Now all three players will get another shot at professional football.
With six more Summer Showcases on the schedule for June, we could see a few more former Lions get another crack at the game they love. We saw Dontez Ford play well for the San Diego Fleet in the AAF, though he wasn’t able to parlay that into a job in the NFL.
In addition to the players above, there are also a handful of local college players who attended the XFL tryouts. Here are some names that may sound familiar to you Michigander college football types:
- WR Keith Mumphrey (Michigan State)
- TE Josiah Price (Michigan State)
- LB Malik Fountain (Central Michigan)
- LB Taiwan Jones (Michigan State)
You can see the full rosters of the Houston and Dallas tryouts here and here.