The XFL is the latest sports league to succumb to the fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Having formally shut down its operations for 2020 and beyond, and filing for bankruptcy immediately thereafter, it's the second time the XFL has been unsuccessful in delivering a second season -- albeit for vastly different reasons. The 2020 iteration was a much more polished product than the failure of 2001, and several players used the platform to catapult their name onto the radar of NFL teams, such as quarterbacks P.J. Walker (Carolina Panthers) and Jordan Ta'amu (Kansas City Chiefs); and you can now add tight end Donald Parham to the list of latest grabs.
Parham, a breakout star for the Dallas Renegades, is reportedly signing with the Los Angeles Chargers, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, choosing them over at least five other teams that put an offer in front of him. The 22-year-old is an intriguing talent with a lengthy build, catching the Chargers' eye after reeling in 307 receiving yards and four touchdowns in only five games. His 101-yard, two touchdown outing against the Seattle Dragons in Week 3 truly told the tale of what Parham might be if given another chance in the NFL, but it won't be his first.
A former standout at Stetson University, Parham initially joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent of the Detroit Lions in 2019, but was waived two weeks later before getting a chance to ever take the practice field. He was signed in June by the Washington Redskins, waived in final roster cuts and re-signed to the team's practice squad, but waived again in early September. Battling for another chance at the pro level, he became a ninth-round pick of the Renegades, but ultimately one of their best offensive weapons.
With the Chargers having franchise tagged Hunter Henry for 2020, Parham has a chance to add key depth to a TE rotation in Los Angeles that desperately needs it.
For while Henry delivered 652 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 12 games last season, the next closest producer at the position was Virgil Green, a 31-year-old veteran who mustered only 78 yards and a touchdown in 15 games. That said, it's a no-brainer they'd give Parham a shot.