34 former NY Jets who are part of the XFL in 2023
The XFL is returning for a third time this coming weekend as the revived pro football league kicks off its 2023 season on ABC, ESPN, and FX.
The above sentence is not something I ever envisioned becoming a reality over two decades ago. Somehow, someway, the XFL has survived two deaths and has risen back to life to tempt its fate again. It sounds like the current state of the NY Jets, to be honest.
22 years ago, soon-to-be Jets wide receiver Kevin Swayne would catch the first-ever XFL touchdown pass from then-quarterback, and future college football head coach, Jeff Brohm.
The Orlando Rage and that version of the XFL have long since been forgotten by many. However, there are longtime Jets fans who do remember the name of Kevin Swayne. The undrafted Division II standout at Wayne State defied the odds to become a regular NFL player from 2001-2004.
To get to the Jets, Swayne did the unthinkable, playing 52 straight weeks of football. In 2001, he played in the XFL, Arena League, and then the NFL in the same year.
Swayne had very modest numbers in his three-year run as a deep reserve with the Jets: 20 catches for 310 yards and a touchdown. However, Swayne's tale, as lost it may be in the history books, is an inspiration for the over 98 percent of college football players who don't make the NFL every year.
That's where pro football leagues like the XFL, which operate in the NFL offseason, prove their value. Even if "Player 54," as XFL 2023 owner Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has labeled his league's players, doesn't make it into or back to the NFL, the opportunity for football players to live out their dreams and reach for that possibility is worth its weight in gold.
The XFL will be employing 408 players over eight teams: the Houston Roughnecks, San Antonio Brahmas, Arlington Renegades, St. Louis Battlehawks, D.C. Defenders, Seattle Sea Dragons, Vegas Vipers, and Orlando Guardians. The league players' average age is 25, and over 300 have some form of NFL experience.
The opportunity to start or advance pro careers doesn't only apply to players. The XFL is also creating that possibility for coaches and personnel scouts. It gets overlooked on NFL coaching resumes, but alternative pro football leagues have also been training grounds for the likes of coaches like Sean McVay and others.
The XFL just so happens to have a combination of former Jets playing in their league and ex-Jets coaches patrolling the sidelines. And in the case of new head coaches like Anthony Becht, the XFL has former Jets players looking to advance themselves in the coaching ranks.
Here are the 34 former New York Jets, coaches, executives, and players who are on each XFL 2023 team.