When the virus shut the world down, no one was without impact. Everything was affected, including sports. Eventually, the XFL fell victim and went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Players were without teams.
The TCU standout had been through camps with the Washington Football Team, the New York Guardians, and two Canadian Football teams: the Ottawa Redblacks, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Texada decided to get back to the CFL, and joined Winnipeg after the XFL shutdown. For a guy of his skill level, someone would be vying for his services, With their season supposed to start in June, that league was the next best thing.
Just one problem. The CFL canceled too.
The league above the border did allow their players to opt-out of their contracts and seek other opportunities. Mainly because the CFL was not able to pay the players.
So, Texada decided to go about a self-promotion campaign. Posting game film on social media:
That’s when we reached out, and asked if he’d speak to us about the possibility of a return to the XFL, and how he felt about a possibility of a return with the new owners.
Very candidly, this is what he had to say:
“I’ve gotta do what’s best for my family, whatever situation that may be. Whether it’s the NFL, XFL, or back in the CFL.”
The one knock people have on him is his size. He’s 5’10”, between 175-185lbs, he is a smaller guy at the position. But what he lacks in stature, he makes up for in skill.
Texada has a nasty closing rate, and once he meets the ball and the receiver, his vertical ability to high-point the ball is insane. And he knows he isn’t the only guy his size out there doing it, so he says he just tries to be himself on the field, and make the plays he knows he can make.
I asked him what it was, watching other players around his size, or coaching that has led to him being able to make up for the size difference between him and most receivers he faces and he says it’s a bit of both.
He says he tried to model his game after the Honey-Badger (Tyrann Mathieu), and the comparisons are quite obvious. The way he attacks the ball, and his tackling abilities are very similar to Mathieu.
Texada plays bigger than he is, which has allowed him to be in camps in those three leagues. When the future is still uncertain from a league standpoint in both the NFL and XFL, opting out of his CFL deal shows some courage.
I asked him what it was that made him decide to do that:
“So, pretty much I just wanted to be able to weigh all my options. Not really be tied to one league right now, and the CFL is giving us an opportunity to take a chance at get a workout with the NFL, and the possibly seeing what the XFL does these next few moths.”
The good thing, and probably a driving motive for guys to opt-out of the CFL, is that the league is allowing guys to opt back in, if an opportunity elsewhere doesn’t surface.
I don’t see that happening with Texada. Even if he doesn’t get a workout with the NFL, his most recent team that has actually played was the Guardians so, if he’s available, the XFL will be an option.
He was one of the top CBs in the game, with his best performances coming against better competition. He ended the shortened year with 18 total tackles, including a sack, and he was a blanket on most of the WRs he faced, the Guardians could use him again next season.
When asked about his time in the XFL, like many others we have spoken to, he talks about how well the league was run, and that he would absolutely return.
Hearing him talk about his teammates and coaches, who helped him learn more about the game of football, you can tell how badly he wants to get back out there.
Although being part of two league shutdowns in a year’s time, his outlook hasn’t waivered, “Just make sure you keep pushing through, and find that next best opportunity.”
That’s what he’s looking for right now. Whether it’s another shot at the NFL, or a return to the XFL, Texada is ready.
We know the CFL will be back, they’re a league that has been well-established, good football, and a lot of talent in Canada. He spoke well about the league as a whole and will return if another shot doesn’t materialize.
When we talked about the possibility of a 2021 season, the bubble idea came up. Having already been through it with the XFL’s training camp, he described it as being unique, with every team being in one place, and playing each other, instead of it being a lot of scrimmages against your own team.
This is the reason the league could play as soon as next year. It’s been through this bubble system before. More structure is needed when it comes to coming and going from the facilities and the hotels, but it’s a viable option. That’s something we’ll have to wait and see what the league decides.
Texada has the itch. He’s looking for the next best way to scratch it. Whether it’s the NFL, or a return to the XFL, we wish him luck.
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