The XFL seemed so promising back in 2000. It was professional football that was founded by the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE) and it was owned by Vince McMahon. That seemed like the perfect combination for success in a sport dominated by physical aptitude.
This list takes a look back at the year when players were allowed to wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys. This list takes a look at the stars who played in the widely criticized league that McMahon even labeled as a colossal failure.
These definitely aren’t the best athletes that the NFL has ever seen. But a lot of them sure do have some interesting stories, and one guy even had a statue that depicted one of the greatest plays in New Orleans Saints history. There’s a guy who nicknamed himself “He Hate Me” and even a guy who is now a minister. Some of these guys even played professional baseball.
There is a long list of XFL players who also played in the NFL. But the players get significantly better as the list goes on. Some of these guys barely saw time in professional sports, while others had a lengthy career playing football. Some guys even managed a lengthy career in the NFL and a handful of guys even have a Super Bowl ring to show for their time in the league.
Sure, the XFL was only around for a season. But it made for some entertaining storylines, and even elevated some guys back into the NFL.
38 ED SMITH
Ed Smith couldn’t get enough of professional sports. Prior to playing professional football, Smith played baseball in the minor league systems of the White Sox, Brewers, Cubs and Indians. After that Smith took his talents back to the football field. He started in NFL Europe, then was signed to the Redskins practice squad. He then moved to Atlanta and the Falcons eventually made him part of their regular season roster.
After moving from the Saints to the 49ers, and then the Eagles to the Lions, Smith finally ended his NFL career. But then he played for the XFL’s Birmingham Thunderbolts. Despite suiting up for 30 NFL regular season games, Smith started just two and caught just one reception in his career for two yards. He was a talented athlete, just not a star in professional football or baseball.
37 BUTLER B’YNOT'E
This former NFL and XFL athlete currently has a career as a minister. Butler B’ynot'e was a running back at Ohio State from 1990 to 1993. He never really felt comfortable with the system he was part of in college because he was sharing time with Robert Smith, Raymont Harris, Carlos Snow and Eddie George. He never became a star, but did see a 189-yard rushing game against Arizona in 1991.
In 1994, B’ynot'e was drafted by the Denver Broncos even though he didn’t have the stats deserving of a draft pick. He played one season in Denver than another season in Carolina. The Panthers released him, then he went from NFL Europe, then the Arena Football League, then the XFL. During that time, he was released from NFL training camps twice.
36 NICKY SAVOIE
Nicky Savoie was barely a factor in the NFL and might be better known now as a fisherman. Savoie, a high school quarterback turned tight end, had just one reception for 14 yards in the NFL, so, no matter how talented he might have been, he just can’t be ranked any higher. Savoie was a quarterback until he transferred to LSU, where the coaches turned him into a tight end. It was a good move for Savoie, who ended up being drafted in 1997 by the New Orleans Saints. He would move to the Broncos, then to NFL Europe before playing in the XFL in Birmingham, Alabama. Savoie has turned to fishing in his recent years. His football career ended after the XFL because a knee injury forced him out of the game.
35 ROD SMART
Rod Smart played in his first regular season, professional football game with the XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws where he was known by the nickname “He Hate Me,” which led to being the league’s most sold jersey. Although he didn’t see regular season action until his time in the XFL, Smart began his professional career as an undrafted rookie free agent with the San Diego Chargers, but was released before the start of the season. While in the XFL, he finished the season ranked second in rushing with 555 yards.
Although Smart gained popularity in the XFL, his NFL numbers were horrific. In five seasons that he saw action after the XFL year, Smart recorded just 29 carries for 67 yards and no touchdowns despite suiting up for 53 regular season games.
34 KEVIN SWAYNE
Kevin Swayne became the first player in professional football history to play football for 12 consecutive months. Swayne began his career as an undrafted free agent signing by Chicago in 1997, although he was just signed to the scout team and was soon released. So, he joined the Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers and was named the team MVP and was selected to the AFL’s All-Rookie team. He led the team in yards and points during two years with the organization. Swayne then joined the XFL and caught the league’s first touchdown pass. After seeing more success in the XFL and then the AFL again, Swayne received a three-year contract with the New York Jets. He recorded all of his NFL stats during those seasons with 20 receptions, 210 yards and one touchdown.
33 DAVID RICHIE
David Richie had a short career in professional football, but he was part of a Super Bowl winning team and an XFL champion winning team. Richie played four seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers. He was part of the Broncos team in Super Bowl XXXII that defeated the Green Bay Packers. His XFL championship came as he was playing for the Los Angeles Xtreme.
Although he was part of a couple championship runs, Richie’s stats were terrible. He suited up for just 12 games in the NFL. And he only appeared on the stat sheet once. That was in 1997 when he was credited for .5 sack. But must have provided some help off the field as he was on two championship winning teams and was in the pros for five seasons.
32 RASHAAN SHEHEE
Rashaan Shehee played just two seasons in the NFL and a season in the XFL. His most notable accomplishment was that he was inducted into the Football High School Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 (he is currently a teacher at Bakersfield High School in California).
Shehee was drafted in the third round of the 1998 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He suited up for every game that year, but just had 22 rushing attempts for 57 yards and no touchdowns. He saw a bit more action the next season despite suiting up for just nine games (he started in five games). He recorded 238 yards and one touchdown that year. 1999 was his last year in the NFL before joining the XFL’s Los Angeles Xtreme.
31 BRAD TROUT
Brad Trout’s greatest football days came in the XFL and NFL Europe, but he also played in the NFL for a brief stint. Trout, a safety, didn’t get much attention out of college as he played at Valdosta State University, though he was the school’s defensive player of the year and made the All-Gulf South Conference Team.
After college, Trout was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons, and soon after moved on to play in Denver for a couple of seasons. He was eventually sent to NFL Europe’s Barcelona Dragons. There, he made the All-NFL Europe Team and led the team in tackles and interceptions. After that, the New York/New Jersey Hitmen made him the defensive captain and he made the All-XFL Team. That led to a shot with the Chiefs, but he retired early due to injury.
30 CASEY WELDON
Casey Weldon is best known for his time playing quarterback at Florida State, where he finished as a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy during his senior season in 1991. Weldon saw a good chunk of time in the NFL before joining the XFL’s Birmingham Thunderbolts.
But Weldon barely saw action on the field in the NFL. Though he was suited up in five different seasons and ready to go, he never started a game. In total, he recorded 60 completions off of 120 attempts and recorded 713 yards. He was sacked 12 times during that stretch and only threw one touchdown and four interceptions. Weldon, who was added to the roster of the Eagles, Buccaneers, Chargers and Redskins, finished his career with his season in the XFL.
29 JOSE CORTEZ
In seven seasons spent playing professional football as a kicker, Jose Cortez played on 12 different teams in four different leagues. Cortez signed to the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 1999. He was eventually cut, and was cut by the Chargers in that same year before making the New York Giants practice squad. He appeared in one game, but was sent to NFL Europe soon after. Eventually, he joined and was released again by the Chargers.
That’s when he joined the Los Angeles Xtreme for the XFL. During that season he was part of a 7-3 record and the XFL title. He led the league with 20 field goals and even earned MVP honors in the championship game after kicking four field goals. He was then signed to the 49ers, where he started every game. The next year he played in 14 games for the Redskins, but never saw much action after that, though he was in the NFL for three more seasons.
28 KIRBY DAR DAR
Kirby Dar Dar signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 1999. He was a running back at Syracuse, but played wide receiver for the Dolphins. Most of his time was spent returning kicks. In 1996 he returned seven kickoffs for 132 yards. Dar Dar just never proved to be much of an NFL player. He was eventually waived in October 1998. In 2001, he played for the New York/New Jersey Hitmen in the XFL and from there was drafted into the EFL.
But he can look back on a good career at Syracuse, where he became known as one of the nation’s most dangerous kick returners. One of his proudest moments in college had to be against Florida when he took back a kick return as part of a reverse play for a 95-yard touchdown.
27 ANGEL RUBIO
Angel Rubio saw a lot of movement in the NFL after he was drafted in the seventh round by the Steelers in 1998. He was traded to the 49ers, then he was waved. Then he was signed by the Bengals, also got dropped there. Then he was resigned to the 49ers practice squad, but was eventually dropped in September 1999 before signing with the Cardinals.
In the XFL, he was drafted with the 181st pick by the Las Vegas Outlaws and was named to the XFL’s all-league first team. Rubio’s legacy is best remembered as a guy who moved around a lot. He was often on a team for just a very short time and very rarely spent more than a season with a team.
26 LATARIO RACHAL
Latario Rachal (#82) didn’t have much of a career in playing football and currently is a wide receivers coach at a high school in California. He also trains several collegiate and high school athletes out there in Carson, California. As for his playing career, Rachal was a wide receiver from Fresno State who got his shot in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers in 1997.
Rachal played two years in San Diego. He was primarily a punt returner but was also a wide receiver. The defining stat from his NFL career was from the 1998 seasons, when he finished second in the AFC with 387 yards on 32 returns. But he did not play for the Chargers after that. Rachal’s final season came in the XFL when he played for the Los Angeles Xtreme.
25 JAMES HUNDON
James Hundon played for the Bengals from 1996 through 1999 before eventually making rounds through the XFL, CFL and AFL. Hundon was also featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated following the first week of the XFL season in 2001. Although Hundon saw four season in Cincinnati, the wide receiver never solidified himself as a producer on the offense. His best season was in 1997 when he caught 16 receptions for 285 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged almost 18 yards a catch during that year.
But Hundon didn’t put up anything better when you look at the rest of his NFL career. Hundon totaled 28 receptions for 416 yards and four touchdowns. Hundon also played for the San Francisco Demons, San Jose SaberCats, Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts.
24 RASHAAN SALAAM
Rashaan Salaam proved he was very talented in college as he was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 2004. But he never prospered in the NFL after being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round. And most unfortunately, Salaam died in December 2016 of an apparent suicide.
Salaam played a brief stint in Chicago (1995-1997) then spent some time in Cleveland in 1999. He never made a regular season roster in the NFL after the stint with the Browns, but he did play for the XFL’s Memphis Maniax in 2001. In his total NFL career, Salaam played in 33 games and started in 20 of those games. He rushed the ball 471 times and recorded 1,684 rushing yards. He also added 13 touchdowns during his career in the NFL.
23 LEOMONT EVANS
Leomont Evans had a career that was cut short because of a serious injury. In 2002, when Evans made his return to the NFL after a brief stint in the XFL, he was signed by the Houston Texans. During the first half of his debut with the Texans against the Giants, Evans suffered a neck injury that kept him from playing on the field again.
Evans started his career with the Washington Redskins in 1996 and played through the 1999 season in the NFL. His stats aren’t all that intriguing. He suited up for 58 games and started 28 of those games. In all, he recorded three interceptions in the NFL. Before getting signed by Houston, Evans spent 2001 in the XFL with the Los Angeles Xtreme.
22 JIM DRUCKENMILLER
Jim Druckenmiller played for the 49ers, the Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts during his brief time in the NFL. For his entire career in the NFL, Druckenmiller tossed just one touchdown and four interceptions with 239 passing yards and a miserable 29.2 quarterback rating. Druckenmiller was originally drafted by San Francisco with the 26th overall pick. The 49ers had the intention on grooming him as Steve Young’s successor.
But he was started in just the second regular season game of his rookie season as Young went down with an injury. Things didn’t go so good. Druckenmiller won the game, but tossed just one touchdown and three interceptions. He completed just 10 of his 27 passes and accumulated just 102 passing yards. Following a very sporadic showing in the NFL, Druckenmill played for the Los Angeles Avengers and the Memphis Maniax in 2001. In 2008, ESPN named him the 11th biggest bust since the AFL-NFL merger.
21 DARYL HOBBS
Daryl Hobbs was an older player by the time he got to the XFL in 2001 with the Memphis Maniax, which was his last year of professional football. Hobbs, a wide receiver, started out with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1993. He also played with the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks. Hobbs was also briefly on the Chiefs, but was never part of the regular season roster. In total, he recorded 94 receptions and 1,172 yards in the NFL with seven touchdowns. That came from five seasons in the NFL.
Hobbs, who took over as head coach of a high school down in Texas in 2012, played in the CFL from 1999-2000 with the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders before playing in the XFL with the Memphis Maniax.
20 ERIC ENGLAND
Eric England (#95) was a defensive end who played in the CFL, NFL, XFL, UFL and the Arena Football League. Although England never made a name for himself in the NFL, he found a way to compete in football for a lengthy professional career in the sport. England played three seasons with the Cardinals (1994-1996) and played in 37 games. He followed up with appearances in the CFL for the BC Lions in 2000, then played seven games in the XFL with the San Francisco Demons. He followed that up with a brief run in Detroit in the Arena Football League, then some time in 2003 with the New York Dragons of the AFL. He finished his career in Toronto in the CFL where he played 56 games between 2003 and 2006.
19 KEITH ELIAS
Keith Elias (#23) was a running back who mostly played on the special teams unit while he was in the NFL. Elias signed out of Princeton as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants. He played there from 1994 through 1996. Elias, who also played for the New York/New Jersey Hitmen, was also with the Indianapolis Colts (1998-1999).
In 1995, it seemed like Elias was going to get dropped by the Giants during the preseason. But he ended up leading the team in rushing yards and made some crucial special teams plays, which earned him a spot on the regular season roster. Though, in the regular season he rushed the ball just 10 times for 44 yards. Elias served as a backup just about his entire career, even in the XFL where he didn’t last long because on a knee injury.
18 KELLY HERNDON
Kelly Herndon (#31) didn’t have a star-studded NFL career, but he did make a name for himself during a very notable play in Super Bowl XL as the Seattle Seahawks took on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Herndon, a cornerback, intercepted a pass from Ben Roethlisberger and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown. That was a new Super Bowl record, which was then broke by James Harrison.
Herndon was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers in 1999, but he didn’t see action in the NFL until 2002. Through his career, Herndon played in the XFL and in NFL Europe. He was on the Las Vegas Outlaws, Barcelona Dragons, New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans throughout his career.
17 PAT BARNES
This quarterback made the rounds through the NFL, the XFL and the CFL. But Pat Barnes never proved to be successful in the NFL. He had a seven-year stint in the pros when you factor in his time spent in each of the leagues. But Barnes never threw a pass in NFL regular season action. Barnes began getting national attention at the University of California, where he set a PAC-10 record for touchdowns in 1996.
In 1997, Barnes was drafted in the fourth round by the Kansas City Chiefs. He then moved to the Raiders for a season before spending two seasons with the Frankfurt Galaxy (he tossed 30 touchdowns during that time). He then saw some time on the 49ers bench before playing for the San Francisco Demons and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. His last shot was in Cleveland in 2003, but again, he never saw the field.
16 JEFF BROHM
Jeff Brohm was in the NFL for seven seasons before spending one season in 2001 with the Orlando Rage. Brohm, currently a head coach at Purdue pulling in $3.3 million a year, went undrafted out of the 1994 draft. Ironically, Brohm was selected twice in the MLB draft but decided to pursue football instead. Brohm played all over the league. He went from San Diego to Washington, then San Francisco to Tampa Bay, then finished with brief stints in Denver and Cleveland.
When Brohm played in Orlando in the XFL, he was named to the All-XFL team despite missing time because of a shoulder injury. He retired after that year but continued to coach after that time. During his time in the NFL, there was very limited action on the field. In total, he recorded just 37 completions with one touchdown and one interception.
15 JOE ASKA
Joe Aska is a running back from the Virgin Islands who played for the New York/New Jersey Hitmen in the XFL. Aska’s collegiate career went relatively unnoticed as he played for the University of Central Oklahoma. Though, in 1994, as a junior he led the Lone Star Conference in rushing with 1,629 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was a finalist for an award called the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is given to the best Division II football player.
Aska started out in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders in 1995. He was drafted in the third round but served in a mostly as a backup after sitting for most of his rookie season. Aska would eventually sign with the Colts, but was cut. His NFL career ended with 326 rushing yards on 74 carries, with one touchdown. After that, he went to the Hitmen in the XFL and led the team in rushing with five touchdowns and 329 yards on 82 carries.
14 ISAAC DAVIS
Isaac Davis was an offensive lineman who played at the University of Arkansas where he was a third-team All-American and a first-team All-SEC following his junior and senior seasons. That led to a second round draft pick in 1994 by the San Diego Chargers. Davis even played in a Super Bowl for the Chargers and saw time in 58 games through the six years he was in the NFL. He started 31 games during that stretch. Davis also played for the Saints and the Vikings, but didn’t see much time. And he was signed by the Raiders, but failed to make the regular season roster.
Davis was the 165th pick in the XFL draft by the Chicago Enforcers. He was traded in the preseason, making him the first trade in XFL history.
13 YO MURPHY
Just about all of Yo Murphy’s professional football statistics came from leagues other than the NFL. Murphy began his professional football career in 1993 and played through 2007 and even had time on the Buccaneers, Vikings, Rams and Chiefs. But through all of that time, he recorded just nine receptions for 51 receiving yards a no touchdowns. From 1995 to 1999, Murphy played for the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europe. In 1996, he was named the World Bowl MVP.
By 1999, Murphy got his first chance in the NFL but that didn’t last long. He was moved from Tampa Bay to Minnesota before playing for the XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws in 2001. From there, he played with the Rams then the Chiefs, and then played with the Ottawa Renegades and the Saskatchewan Roughriders before retiring in 2007.
12 CHARLES JORDAN
Charles Jordan finished his career as a professional athlete with the XFL’s Memphis Maniax in 2001. The wide receiver started in the NFL in 1993 with the Los Angeles Raiders, then played for the Packers, Dolphins, Seahawks and Packers before moving to the XFL. In his seven seasons playing in the NFL, Jordan finishing with 46 receptions for 817 yards and five touchdowns.
Jordan saw just one season with double-digit receptions in the NFL. That was in the 1997 season when he had 27 receptions and 471 yards with three touchdown catches. Through his NFL career, Jordan didn’t see much time on the field. He started just three games and only suited up in more than 10 games twice in his career (1994 and 1997).
11 AARON BAILEY
Aaron Bailey was a kickoff returner and wide receiver in the NFL. In total, he played for the Colts (1994-1998) and caught 67 receptions for 1,040 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 3,501 kickoff return yards with two touchdowns from kickoffs.
After his time in Indianapolis, Bailey played for the Chicago Enforcers of the XFL in 2001 and then moved to the Arena Football League from 2001 to 2006. Bailey is often remembered for his time in the 1995 AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His team was trailing 20-16 and there was time for one last heave downfield by quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh threw a deep, Hail Mary pass to Bailey, but officials ruled that Bailey dropped the ball and the Steelers moved on to Super Bowl XXX.
10 JOHN AVERY
John Avery was all over the place during his time as a professional athlete. Avery played in the CFL, the NFL and the XFL. Avery started out in college at Northwest Mississippi Community College, and after two years he enrolled at the University of Mississippi. He started five games in 1996 then started nine games for the team in 1997, when he was a finalist for the Conerly Trophy.
Avery was a first round selection (29th pick) by Miami in the 1998 draft. In 1991, Avery was traded to the Broncos but saw very little action in Denver and was released the next season. That’s when he made the journey to the XFL with the Chicago Enforcers. He led the XFL in rushing with 800 yards off of 150 carries and five touchdowns. He then attended Dallas’ training camp but was injured and released. That’s when he appeared with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. He played good enough there to make the trip back to Minnesota for a spot on the Vikings, but he didn’t do much there as he eventually injured his knee and was sidelined.
9 COREY IVY
Corey Ivy was a cornerback who ended up with a pretty lengthy professional football career. Ivy was an undrafted signee by the New England Patriots in 1999 and then finished in 2010 with the Omaha Nighthawks (his last season in the NFL was in 2009 with the Baltimore Ravens). His career NFL statistics aren’t the greatest, but they’re a heck of a lot better than a lot of people on this list.
Ivy at least made a solid contribution during his time in the NFL with a total of 278 tacks, 9.5 sacks and three interceptions. He was also a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when the team won a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl XXXVII. Besides 2010, Ivy’s brief time out of the NFL was in 2001 when he was in the XFL with the Chicago Enforcers.
8 KEVIN KAESVIHARN
Kevin Kaesviharn had a rough start to his professional football career. The safety went undrafted in the 1998 draft and then spent a year out of football. He then signed with the Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers. He was named the team’s rookie of the year, and in the next year he became the third player in AFL history to record more than 100 tackles in a single season (he had 107 tackles, which ranked second in league history).
He was then drafted by the San Francisco Demons for the inaugural season of the XLF. He recorded 32 tackles, three interceptions and three passes defended. After that season he signed with the Green Bay Packers, then ended up playing through the 2009 season with the Bengals, Saints, Panthers and Titans. In total, he recorded 497 tackles, six sacks and 17 interceptions.
7 STEPFRET WILLIAMS
Stepfret Williams was a wide receiver who displayed a lot of skill, though couldn’t remain a consistent factor in professional football. Williams was selected in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. But injuries kept him out of a lot of the action, though he did record 30 receptions for 308 yards and one touchdown in his second season. Williams saw brief time in Cincinnati before he was dropped and never made the regular season in San Diego before he began in the XFL.
Williams XFL stop with the Birmingham Thunderbolts was the last of his career. But he did accumulate 51 receptions for 828 yards and touchdowns in the XFL. His 828 receiving yards led the league during its only year of action.
6 LeSHON JOHNSON
LeShon Johnson may not have had the fullest NFL career, but he proved to be consistent in all areas of the field. Johnson, a running back, showed skill with the rush, but also was able to catch the ball out of the backfield pretty well and was a solid kick returner when he was called on. But he just didn’t play all that much during his time in the NFL (1994-1999) with the Packers, Cardinals and Giants.
Johnson finished his professional football career in 2001 in the XFL with the Chicago Enforcers. Johnson, who was a consensus All-American in his last year at Northern Illinois, was a third round pick in the NFL and finished his NFL career with 955 rushing yards, 434 receiving yards, 1,389 kick return yards and seven touchdowns.
5 PARIS LENON
Paris Lenon has an interesting stat attached to his name that no other player will ever be able to own. Lenon was the last active NFL player to have played in the XFL. It may not be the best stat out there, but Lenon will go down in history with this honor. Lenon, a linebacker, also had a pretty good NFL career despite a rocky start.
Lennon started in 2000 as an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Panthers, but he was dropped by June of that year. After spending a season out of football, Lenon became a member of the XFL’s Memphis Maniax. After that he signed with the Packers but was waived in July. He was dropped a couple of more times and had a stint in NFL Europe before finally getting action in the NFL.
But he finished with some pretty good stats in the NFL – 831 tackles, 12 sacks, 31 pass deflections, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and even one touchdown.
4 STEVE GLEASON
Steve Gleason was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Indianapolis Colts in 2000. After the preseason, Gleason was released and then signed with the Saints as a member of their practice squad. That’s when he switched to the XFL. He was drafted by the Birmingham Thunderbolts, who had picked him with the 191st pick in 2001.
Gleason, who was a safety and also on special teams, played for the Saints through 2007. Gleason is most known for a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown. It was New Orleans first score at its home field after a 21-month hiatus because of Hurricane Katrina. The Saints even have a statue depicting the moment call ‘rebirth’. Unfortunately, in 2011 Gleason revealed that he was battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
3 TOMMY MADDOX
Tommy Maddox had one of the longest professional football careers among the guys who played in both the XFL and the NFL. And it was deserving for the quarterback out of UCLA who was drafted with the 25th pick in the 1992 draft by the Denver Broncos. Maddox was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2002, a Super Bowl champion, a XFL MVP and a XFL Champion.
Maddox, though, was on the bench for a reason. In all his time in the NFL, he tossed 48 touchdowns but also threw 54 interceptions. That’s a very rough ratio, but he managed to play for five NFL teams (his longest stint was on the Steelers from 2001 through 2005). Over the course of his career, Maddox threw for 8,087 yards and had a 72.4 passer rating.
2 MIKE FURREY
Mike Furrey didn’t have much of a career before playing with the XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws in 2001. Furrey was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2000 by the Indianapolis Colts, but he never saw a regular season game that season as he was waived at the end of training camp. With the XFL’s Outlaws, Furrey finished the season with 18 receptions for 243 yards and a touchdown.
He then moved to the New York Dragons in the Arena Football League, where in 2002, he led the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. That year he caught 46 touchdowns, tying an AFL single-season record. From there he was in the NFL through the 2010 season (though he never made it to the regular season with the Redskins in 2010).
Furrey led the NFC in receptions during 2006 and finished his NFL career with 221 receptions for 2,298 yards and seven touchdowns.
1 CRAIG WHELIHAN
Craig Whelihan tops the list because of his great NFL statistics and his amazing career after playing in the NFL. Whelihan spent his first few years as a professional athlete with the San Diego Chargers, who drafted the quarterback in the sixth round of the 1995 draft. Whelihan had more chances than most quarterbacks on this list, but never truly succeeded as a consistent starter in the NFL. But Whelihan had talent, and his stats showed it.
While playing in the NFL, Whelihan recorded 110 touchdowns and just 28 interceptions. He also had 5,978 passing yards and a 102.01 quarterback rating. He even rushed in 11 touchdowns. His first season out of the NFL was in the XFL with the Memphis Maniax and the Chicago Enforcers. He went on to play in the Arena Football League and won a championship in that league and played all the way through the 2007 season.