Falcons Sign Former XFL Tight End to One-Year Deal

Khari Lee

getty Khari Lee #86 of the DC Defenders.

On Wednesday, the Atlanta Falcons announced they have agreed to terms with former XFL tight end Khari Lee on a one-year contract.

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Lee’s Professional Career

Lee will be coming to Atlanta after spending time in the new XFL league. Before the league was canceled due to the coronavirus, Lee had eight receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns for the DC Defenders in 2020.

Lee, 28, is the fourth former player to go from the canceled XFL to the NFL so far. After the cancellation, players were allowed to sign contracts with NFL teams.

Prior to the XFL, he spent time in the NFL, playing for four different teams. In 2015 the Houston Texans pick him up as an undrafted free agent out of Bowie State. He then spent some time with the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Buffalo Bills.

Lee’s Plan B

The 6-foot-4, 255-pound TE always had a dream of playing in the NFL and when he thought it was the end of his football career after the Bills released him, he went into real estate.

“I liked selling real estate,” Lee told the Washington Times back in February. “But it’s a different life when you have a regular day-to-day job. I don’t think you can ever fully be prepared for life without football until you know you are done. And I wasn’t done. I’ve been playing football since I was seven years old.”

He knew he wasn’t down when the WWE icon, Vince McMahon announced the return of the XFL, Lee knew it’d be another chance for him.

Just two months in, the league was shut down for the remainder of the season and once again. Lee’s dream came to a halt until the Falcons picked him up after catching their attention with an outstanding few weeks in the XFL.

Competing for Backup Job

Lee joining the Falcons won’t be an easy job for him considering he’s at the back of the line. The Falcons just recently traded for Hayden Hurst after losing Austin Hooper to the Browns in free agency. Hurst will fill Hooper’s void as Atlanta’s new starter.

They also cut Hooper’s backup, Luke Stocker the same day. However, the Falcons still have tight end backups Jaeden Graham and Carson Meier.

Graham played in 16 games last season with nine receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown and six special teams tackles. He recorded his first career catch, a 21-yard reception in the second quarter that led to a 29-yard field goal against the Cards. On top of that, he had his first touchdown, 18-yards in Week 13. On the same night, he finished with four receptions for 41 yards.

Meier is on the Falcons practice hasn’t seen much action on the active roster yet except for his first career game in Week 11 against the Saints. He then spent the remainder of the season on the practice squad.

Lee will have to spend the offseason proving his worth to see any playing time. That shouldn’t be too difficult for him since he worked hard enough to get back to playing football and made it happen.

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