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Three former Vipers find new homes on NFL squads

More than 25 former XFL players have now signed deals with NFL or CFL teams.
Former Vipers running back Jacques Patrick celebrates a touchdown against the DC Defenders. Patrick signed a three-year deal with the Bengals after the XFL discontinued play in March.
Former Vipers running back Jacques Patrick celebrates a touchdown against the DC Defenders. Patrick signed a three-year deal with the Bengals after the XFL discontinued play in March. [ XFL, CARMEN MANDATO | XFL via Getty Images ]
Published Apr. 22, 2020

Part of the XFL’s mission is finally coming to fruition, as players are finding their way into the NFL.

One Vipers player signed after the XFL season ended five games early because of concerns due to the coronavirus. Two others signed after the league folded, suspending operations before filing for bankruptcy.

Long snapper Nick Moore signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens on March 26. It’s the second time the former Georgia Bulldog has found an NFL landing spot, previously enjoying a brief stint with the Saints. He signed with New Orleans as a rookie free agent before being waived in August.

Moore is unlikely to see much playing time this season — the Ravens already have his position covered with veteran Morgan Cox — but will make a good addition to Baltimore’s camp roster.

Former Florida State running back Jacques Patrick inked a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals last week. The ex-Viper scored two touchdowns this season, the first in the home opener against the DC Defenders just days after his father, Peter Hayes, Sr., died.

Patrick finished third in the XFL with 254 rushing yards, behind only teammate DeVeon Smith (365) and St. Louis’ Matt Jones (314).

The deal is the first with an NFL team for Patrick, who went undrafted last year.

Former Vipers tight end Colin Thompson meanwhile, reached an agreement with the Carolina Panthers. The details have not been released, but Thompson announced the news in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Thompson had one reception for 13 yards with the Vipers, making a shoestring catch of a tipped pass for a first down.

Thompson was one of the top players in the country coming out of high school. He committed to play at the University of Florida but was medically discharged after an injury-plagued career with the Gators.

He transferred to Temple, where he was able to stay healthy, and eventually spent time on the practice squads of the New York Giants and Chicago Bears.

More than 25 former XFL players have now signed with NFL or CFL teams since the XFL discontinued play last month. Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker was the first, signing a 2-year, $1.565-million deal with the Carolina Panthers on March 25.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.