Former NFL first-round pick gets cut by XFL team after just four games in fledgling league

Matt Elam's football career might have just hit rock bottom. The former NFL first-round pick was released by the XFL's DC Defenders on Tuesday after just four games with the team. 

The move probably came as somewhat of a surprise to Elam, who had arguably his best game of the season during the Defenders' 25-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Vipers on Sunday. During the shutout loss, Elam seemed to be the only Defenders player who actually wanted to play defense as he racked up a team-high 12 combined tackles. 

During his four games with the Defenders (2-2), Elam totaled 15 tackles and one interception. The 28-year-old's time in the XFL marked his first time playing for a pro team in the United States since 2016, when he was cut by the Baltimore Ravens

Elam's pro career started back in 2013 after the Ravens selected him with the 32nd overall pick in the NFL Draft. The safety actually got off to an impressive start in Baltimore as he started a total of 26 games over his first two seasons with the team. However, Elam missed the entire 2015 season with a torn biceps muscle and was never really the same player after that. When Elam return in 2016, he only played in nine games and the Ravens chose not to pick up his fifth-year option. 

Just before free agency was set to begin in 2016, Elam was arrested twice over a three-month span, which basically killed any market he might have had. Although Elam didn't play in the NFL over the past three seasons, he did spend some time in the CFL before being drafted into the XFL back in October. 

Elam was hoping to continue his playing career in the fledgling league, but that will only happen if another team is willing to sign him. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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