34 former NY Jets who are part of the XFL in 2023
Former NY Jets on the D.C. Defenders
Gregg Williams, DC
Here's a former member of the Jets who needs no introduction. Infamous, notorious, and controversial, there are so many different ways to describe Gregg Williams and his reputation after coaching for over four decades.
After two rocky years as the Jets' defensive coordinator, Williams is back coaching pro football again, but for the first time since the '90s, he is doing it outside the NFL bubble. The truth is that even when Williams was inside the NFL, everything about him was outside the lines.
The enigmatic and ultra-aggressive coach will always be remembered in Jets lore for his all-out blitz call against the Raiders in 2020 that caused an uproar among NFL media. It was his last play call in New York.
The Jets fired Williams after he zero-blitzed Derek Carr and got burned with a game-winning Hail Mary touchdown with five seconds left, dropping the Jets to 0–12.
The media was outraged, insisting that Williams was following orders on a tank job designed to draft Trevor Lawrence. However, what they failed to realize is that Gregg Williams was marching to the beat of his own drum.
No matter how enigmatic Gregg Williams may be, there's no denying his resume. The Defenders did well getting someone of his experience to run their defense. And Jets fans, based on how they ended up with Zach Wilson, probably wish that the team would have let Williams finish the job in 2020.
Chad Hansen, WR
The former fourth-round pick of the New York Jets didn't quite live up to expectations in New York. The 28-year-old first-team All-Pac 12 receiver out of California hasn't been able to break through and get significant playing time in the NFL.
He's been on eight different NFL teams since 2017. Chad Hansen has had 26 catches for 330 yards and a score as mostly a reserve player.
Josh Malone, WR
Josh Malone is another former Jets player who, like Chad Hansen, was selected in the fourth round in the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3 target out of Tennessee has been with seven NFL teams, and he was most recently with the Pittsburgh Steelers on their practice squad.
Malone spent two seasons with the Jets in 2019-2020. He bounced between the practice squad and the active roster, playing six games.
K.D. Cannon, WR
The Defenders have four different blink-and-you-might've-missed-it former Jets players on their roster. The Baylor standout signed with the Jets in the 2017 offseason but didn't last very long with the green and white. That's unfortunately been the story of K.D. Cannon's pro career.
The once prolific collegiate receiver hasn't been able to stick anywhere he has landed, and bad luck has followed him around. He is currently on the Defenders reserve list with a knee injury, and his status for the XFL season is in doubt.
Santos Ramirez, S
If you forgot about the previous names on this list, then you are definitely going to forget that Santos Ramirez was ever a Jet. The former team captain at Arkansas had two separate stints with the Jets playing under Gregg Williams, and that's probably why he is back with his former coach again in D.C.
In fact, Ramirez is slated to start the season for the Defenders at strong safety.