By: Omar Saulters
The XFL continues to be a launchpad for remarkable talent to find its way back to the NFL. The latest success story is Sal Cannella, the Arlington Renegades’ tight end, who has now secured a coveted NFL contract with the Seattle Seahawks.
Cannella’s signing further highlights the XFL’s role in reinvigorating the careers of exceptional players, allowing them to display their prowess on the grand stage once again. As of now, the XFL has facilitated a total of 64 NFL contracts for players since the offseason commenced on May 15. Cannella’s journey is a testament to the opportunities arising from a strong XFL performance.
He joins an illustrious group of players from the 2023 XFL-champion Renegades who have earned NFL contracts, such as Garrett McGhin (Buffalo Bills), Tomasi Laulile (San Francisco 49ers), Victor Bolden (Houston Texans), Bruce Hector (New York Jets), Willie Taylor (Jacksonville Jaguars), and Darren Evans (New York Giants). Their journeys underscore the transformative impact that the XFL can have on players’ careers.
Cannella’s remarkable contributions during his first XFL season with the Renegades have come to fruition. Emerging as Arlington’s leading receiver and one of the premier tight ends in the league, he left an indelible mark on the field. Hailing from Schaumburg, IL, Cannella solidified his position among the XFL’s top performers, ranking 6th in receptions (42), 6th in targets (63), and 12th in receiving yards (415) during the regular season. Notably, his performance placed him second among XFL tight ends in catches and yards, trailing only Cody Latimer from Orlando.
Cannella’s prowess was particularly evident in the 2023 XFL Championship Game, where he demonstrated his ability to make crucial plays under pressure. His impactful performance included a 41-yard touchdown reception that underscored his significance on the field.
The path leading to this NFL contract has been marked by dedication and perseverance. From his undrafted status in the 2020 NFL Draft to stints with various teams, Cannella’s journey is one of resilience and determination. He showcased his skills in the 2020 The Spring League Fall season for the TSL Generals, played in the USFL, and made his mark with the Arlington Renegades.
Now, the Seattle Seahawks have recognized Cannella’s potential, solidifying his return to the NFL. As he transitions to this new phase of his career, his time with the XFL Renegades stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment and the transformative power of the XFL in shaping the trajectories of remarkable athletes.
Featured Image via Kevin Jairaj/XFL