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XFL Suspends All Operations, 2021 Return Uncertain

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The XFL has suspended all operations and laid off nearly all of its employees with no immediate plans to return in 2021, according to a report by Kevin Seifert and Field Yates of ESPN.

Just a handful of league executive remain employed following the league’s mass layoffs.

According NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, league employees will be paid through Sunday, with uncertainty regarding a potential restart in the future.

The league’s inaugural season was cancelled last month after just five games amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan at that point was to return next season.

The Steelers have made five XFL signings in offensive tackle Jardon Jones, safety Tyree Kinnel, long snapper/linebacker Christian Kuntz and defensive ends Dewayne Hendrix and Cavon Walker. Walker led the XFL with 4.5 sacks for the New York Guardians. Hendrix and Kuntz played their college ball at Pitt and Duquesne, respectively.

Steelers Transactions

Steelers Add Former XFL, Western Michigan OL John Keenoy

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The Steelers have signed former XFL offensive lineman John Keenoy, helping to shore up depth at a significant position of need ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, as one of four additions to the team announced on Thursday.

Keenoy, 23, has been listed as a center by the Steelers, but played guard for the Dallas Renegades in the spring of 2020.

A 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman, Keenoy is entering his second professional season out of Western Michigan. He initially signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft, but was released after training camp on Aug. 31.

Keenoy returned to Western Michigan, serving as a volunteer assistant during the 2019 season, before suiting up for the Renegades in the XFL alongside current Steelers linebacker and long snapper Christian Kuntz and former Steelers Winston Craig, Landry Jones, and Tegray Scales.

A Kentwood, Michigan native, Keenoy started 50 of 51 possible games at center while with the Broncos from 2015-18. He was a three-time All-MAC selection and was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2015.

With the Steelers losing starting left guard Ramon Foster to retirement and top interior offensive line backup B.J. Finney to free agency, they have a significant need in the interior of their line, even after adding free agent Stefen Wisniewski. Returning practice squad player J.C. Hassenauer is the only other center listed on the roster.

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Steelers Transactions

Steelers Sign Former XFL, Oregon CB Arrion Springs

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The Steelers once again have looked to the XFL to help their defense, signing cornerback Arrion Springs on Thursday.

Springs, who played for the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats, was initially drafted by the Tampa Bay Vipers before he was traded to LA. In 5 XFL games before the league was forced to stop play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Springs recorded 16 total tackles and an interception.

Even though Springs has struggled to find pro success, he was a standout corner in college at Oregon, where he had 137 career tackles, 44 pass defenses, two sacks and two interceptions. After not being drafted in 2018, Springs signed as a rookie free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s also spent time on the practice squads of the Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.

The Steelers have made it a point to sign former XFL players this off-season. Some of their XFL signings include offensive lineman Anthony Coyle, offensive tackle Jardon Jones, safety Tyree Kinnel, long snapper/linebacker Christian Kuntz and defensive ends Dewayne Hendrix and Cavon Walker. Walker led the XFL with 4.5 sacks for the New York Guardians. Hendrix and Kuntz played their college ball at Pitt and Duquesne, respectively.

 

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Steelers Transactions

Steelers Sign Former XFL, Fordham OL Anthony Coyle

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The Steelers added to their offensive line depth by once again dipping into the XFL on Thursday.

The team announced the signing of tackle Anthony Coyle among four signings on Thursday. Coyle most recently played with the New York Guardians of the XFL.

The Steelers listed the 6-foot-5, 298 pound Coyle as a tackle. He was listed as a guard by the Guardians, and was listed as a starter on the team’s final depth chart before the remainder of the 2020 XFL season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coyle started the 2019 season in training camp with the Green Bay Packers. He was released on Sept. 1 and spent two weeks on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad in November before joining the Guardians at the end of the NFL season.

Coming out of FCS Fordham, Coyle originally signed with the Houston Texas as an undrafted free agent in 2018, but was released after training camp and was signed to the Packers practice squad.

In four seasons with the Rams, the Staten Island native was a four-year starter, playing his final three seasons at left tackle after playing as a freshman at right tackle. Coyle was a two-time All-Patriot League selection.

The Steelers have had significant success with unheralded linemen in their recent history, with 2019 starters Matt Feiler, Ramon Foster and Alejandro Villanueva all entering the league as undrafted free agents.

Coyle is the third lineman the Steelers have added since the end of the 2019 season, joining guard Stefen Wisniewski and center John Keenoy.

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