On Sunday night, the National Football League’s 100th season came to an exciting conclusion when the Kansas City Chiefs topped the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl LIV. If the conclusion of the season—or Green Bay’s loss in the NFC Championship two weeks earlier—has you down, we might have some good news for you. Though the NFL season is over, another professional football season is just beginning.
After flaming out in a blaze of glory in 2001 (its first and, to date, only season), the XFL is coming back. The Vince McMahon-owned football league’s second season is slated to kick off on Saturday, February 8. Will it help fill that football-sized hole in your weekend this winter and spring? Maybe. Could it actually end up being entertaining? Possibly. Will it be a crazy, weird, and unpredictable spectacle? Absolutely.
Though none of the league’s eight teams (nor its “Team 9” practice squad) have any direct connection to Wisconsin, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to watch without a rooting interest. After combing through each team’s rosters and their coaching staffs, we’ve found more than 25 former Green Bay Packers (and a couple Wisconsin Badgers) who are part of the XFL’s long-awaited return season.
There are former Green Bay starters, role players, backup quarterbacks, special teams standouts, and notable assistant coaches scattered throughout the XFL. Conversely, there are some Packers draft busts, short-lived preseason hopefuls, and practice squad players on some teams as well. If you’re struggling to decide where your team allegiance lands, maybe this guide to Packers and Badgers on XFL rosters will help. As always, please let know if we missed anyone in the comments.
Jeff Jagodzinski — Offensive Line Coach
The Milwaukee native and standout UW-Whitewater fullback served as Green Bay’s tight ends coach from 1999 through 2003.
Josh Hawkins — Defensive Back
The cornerback amassed 43 tackles and a forced fumble during his time with the Packers in 2016 and 2017.
Greer Martini — Linebacker
The undrafted Notre Dame linebacker was on Green Bay’s practice squad for part of the 2018 season.
Josh Allen — Offensive Lineman
The guard was part of the Packers practice squad for three weeks in 2014.
Donatello Brown — Defensive Back
Brown was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He was waived before the regular season, but signed to the practice squad. In late 2017, the defensive back was promoted to active roster, but didn’t post any stats.
James Folston — Defensive Lineman
Was cut after just a few days with the team at end of 2019’s preseason.
Johnathan Calvin — Linebacker
The unheralded linebacker was signed and subsequently released before the start of the 2017 season.
Patrick Lewis — Offensive Lineman
The Texas A&M center was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013, then cut right before season began.
Carl Bradford — Linebacker
Bradford was taken by Packers in the 4th round of 2014 draft. Allegedly unable to acclimate to the team’s defense, the linebacker was a healthy scratch for every game of 2014. Signed then to practice squad in 2015 and most of 2016 before landing a spot on the active roster in late 2016, where he had one tackle in four games.
Olive Sagapolu — Defensive Lineman
The former Badgers defensive tackle was signed by the hometown Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and cut before the season started.
Los Angeles Wildcats
Winston Moss — Head Coach and GM
Following an impressive playing career, Winston Moss was on track to be a great head coach. Mike McCarthy’s protege and “Assistant Head Coach” was swiftly fired by the Packers when he criticized the team’s dismissal of his boss on Twitter in 2018. After sitting 2019 out, he’s ready to take his leadership to the XFL as the head coach and general manager of the Wildcats.
DuJuan Harris — Running Back
Any true Packer Backer remembers DuJuan Harris. The backup running back appeared in a total of 19 regular season games with Green Bay in 2012 and 2014 (two of those were starts). Over that span, the capable tailback had 50 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Harris was also a kick returner, tallying 22 kickoff returns for 456 yards. He was also a standout in the Pack’s 2012 playoff games, posting two rushing touchdowns and 164 total yards in two postseason games.
Nico Siragusa — Offensive Lineman
The guard spent time on Green Bay’s practice squad in 2018 before briefly being placed on the team’s active roster for a couple games near the end of that season.
Jim Zorn — Head Coach and GM
The first quarterback in Seahawks franchise history returns to Seattle to be its XFL franchise’s first coach. Between his first stint in Seattle and his lengthy coaching career, Zorn was a second-string quarterback for the Packers in 1985. That season, he had a 3-2 record with four touchdowns and six interceptions.
Dillon Day — Offensive Lineman
The center was on the Packers practice squad in 2017.
Jhurell Pressley — Running Back
The journeyman running back spent nine days with Green Bay in September of 2016.
New York Guardians
DeAngelo Yancey — Wide Receiver
After an underwhelming preseason in 2017, the 5th round pick was cut at the end of preseason and signed to the practice squad, where he remained until early in the 2018 season.
Joey Mbu — Defensive Line
The defensive tackle was with the Packers during the 2018 training camp.
Marquise Williams — Quarterback
The North Carolina quarterback was released by the Packers in final cuts of 2016 preseason.
Colby Pearson — Wide Receiver
The BYU wideout spent part of 2017 season on the Packers practice squad.
Justin Vogel — Punter
Though it’s hard to envision a pre-J.K. Scott world, Green Bay actually left punting duties to Justin Vogel in 2018. That season, he played in all 16 games, recording 71 punts for 3,155 yards (44.4-yard average). Vogel’s net average of 41.6 yards per punt was a Packers single-season franchise record. Despite being selected to be a 2018 Pro Bowl alternate, the punter’s Packers career was brief. He was replaced by Scott this season.
St. Louis BattleHawks
Christine Michael — Running Back
Over a span of six games with the Packers in 2016, ex-Seahawks running back Christine Michael had 31 carries for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground. He also added two receptions for 11 yards.
Khyri Thornton — Defensive Lineman
The third round pick was placed on Green Bay’s injured reserve after getting hurt in last preseason game of 2014. The promising defensive tackle was released the following season.
Dejon Allen — Offensive Lineman
Dejon Allen was signed by the Packers in 2019 and released before the regular season started.
Tampa Bay Vipers
Jake Schum — Punter
Vipers employee Jake Schum was Green Bay’s punter in 2016. That season, he had 56 punts with a long of 65 yards. He had a 39.1 net average and was Mason Crosby’s holder.
Tanner McEvoy — Wide Receiver (Badgers)
Tanner McEvoy was on the Badgers. Remember him?
In addition to its eight franchises, the XFL also has a league-wide practice squad called “Team 9,” which allows any organization to claim a player to replace injured or released athletes. Team 9 has two notable players with Packers connections.
Joe Callahan — Quarterback
Quarterback Joe Callahan signed with the Packers in 2016 and was released a few games into the season. However, he was re-signed when Rodgers broke his collarbone in 2017, then cut when Rodgers returned, and re-signed when Rodgers went back on the IR for the remainder of the year. During the December 31 game, Callahan completed five of seven passes for a total of 11 yards.
Gerhard de Beer — Offensive Line
In late 2018, an otherwise lost and dismal Packers season got a little bit brighter with the news that Green Bay had acquired a free agent lineman. Though Gerhard de Beer was technically just a practice squad signing and not a member of the official roster, that didn’t prevent the South African-born offensive tackle with a distinctly Wisconsin name from catching on as a fan favorite. Despite being re-signed and invited to training camp last summer, de Beer was eventually released by the Packers during the preseason. Sadly, de Beer still doesn’t know where his next professional football stop will be. After being drafted by the Houston Roughnecks, the offensive lineman wound up on the XFL’s Team 9 practice squad that’s based in Dallas.