Austin MacGinnis was perfect in the XFL before the start-up pro football league closed its doors for the remainder of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. MacGinnis, his Dallas Renegades teammates and players from the seven other league teams have all gone their separate ways after exit physicals and unexpected goodbyes on Friday.
The sudden suspension of play will be hard on a lot of those guys who were relying on XFL paychecks and one last opportunity to audition for the NFL. But for MacGinnis, the timing may just be as perfect as his XFL stats.
When the XFL canceled its 2020 season, it canceled all player contracts across all eight rosters, thus opening the entire league to join the NFL free agent market. It just so happens the NFL’s free agency season begins this coming Monday at 4 p.m. (as things stand now; there are ongoing NFL bargaining agreement and coronavirus meetings as we speak) when all 2019 player contracts expire.
So MacGinnis is now among the NFL’s unrestricted free agent pool as the phones start ringing. He and a few others who shined in the XFL’s brief run, like quarterbacks P.J. Walker and Jordan Ta’amu, should jump toward the front of the line at their respective positions. This should be MacGinnis’ shot to get back on an NFL roster. Several teams should call MacGinnis and a team should get him signed to a contract immediately.
And if the former Wildcat goes unsigned, the NFL should cancel its season. (Kidding. Obviously. Kind of.)
I do not think it will come to that though. His five-game XFL experience went perfectly (except for that missed tackle on a kickoff last week) and Austin is optimistic about his future.
For now it is a waiting game as the NFL irons out its CBA situation and what’s ahead with the world.