Houston Texans: 3 XFL players that could sign to NFL roster
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans could sign XFL players as early as today after the league canceled the rest of their season.
With the XFL deciding to cancel the rest of their season due to the potential possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the Houston Texans among the other 31 NFL teams could begin the process of looking to add players from the XFL. Although it’s unfortunate that XFL players possibly won’t conclude their season with their teams, they will have a head start on finding potential NFL teams before free agency starts next week.
It’s difficult to gauge how skill players on offense or positional players on defense will fare against NFL level competition, but there is an easier way to see how a quarterbacks’ ability to throw an accurate football will translate to the next level. The Texans are set at their quarterback position for the foreseeable with Deshaun Watson, but they will need to bolster their depth. Especially taking into consideration that Joe Webb III and A.J. McCarron will become unrestricted free agents next week.
More from Toro Times
- Houston Texans: Can Sean Payton really be the next head coach?
- Houston Texans Draft: Michael Mayer should be a no doubter at pick 12
- Houston Texans already telling fans the Davis Mills era is over
- Houston Texans have hand forced, waste no time in firing Lovie Smith
- Houston Texans: Pros and Cons of keeping Head Coach Lovie Smith
Adding from the pool of XFL players is another avenue to acquiring talent for NFL teams, and a valuable one for a team like the Texans that will be limited to early draft selections for the next two years after utilizing them to improve the roster via trade.
The Houston Roughnecks starting quarterback was arguably the best player in the XFL. Walker led the Roughnecks to a 5-0 start and cruised through the majority of the season before it’s abrupt stop. He completed 65 percent of his passes for a league-high 1,338 yards, 15 touchdowns, and only threw four interceptions.
Walker was virtually unstoppable in the XFL through the air and showed mobility as a quarterback with 99 rushing yards and a touchdown. Although the sample size was limited through five games, if a player deserves to have a shot at the NFL level again, it’s P.J. Walker.
Josh Johnson showed he still has gas left in the tank after being the second-best quarterback in the XFL with the Los Angeles Wildcats. Johnson has been the epitome of a journeyman at the quarterback position by being with 13 teams since entering the NFL in 2008. At 33 years of age, Johnson is suited more than any other signal-caller from this list to be a backup; he has a brief history with Bill O’Brien and the Texans as he was signed for the 2017 season due to all the injuries at the quarterback position.
Johnson showed enough to warrant another gig in the NFL after completing 60 percent of his passes for 1,076 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only two interceptions.
Undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jordan Ta’amu spent the preseason and training camp with the Texans before he was waived at the start of the regular season.
Ta’amu signed with the St. Louis Battlehawks with no NFL teams calling but took advantage of his situation and now has another opportunity to return to the NFL. He finished his stint in the XFL, completing 72 percent of his passes for 1,050 yards. However, he threw a lower clip of touchdowns than his peers in this list, with five touchdown passes to only two interceptions.
Ta’amu, 22, offers a lot of intrigue for teams like the Texans that like some dual-threat ability from their quarterbacks. Ta’amu finished seventh overall in the XFL in rushing with 217 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and one rushing touchdown.
All three XFL signal-callers performed well in the XFL to compete for a spot on an NFL depth chart, and Texans could realistically sign one of these quarterbacks with them having ties to Houston in the past.