Victor Bolden Jr. may not have made much of an impact in the NFL during his brief career, but the speedy wide receiver and kick returner will now be in the football history books for a different unusual accomplishment across two other leagues.
The former Buffalo Bills speedster last appeared in an NFL game in the 2018 season, but found a home with the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions last year as he was named to the All-USFL team offense and later became MVP of the title game. After another stalled attempt to make an NFL roster last year, Bolden joined the XFL’s Arlington Renegades in April and made history in the league’s May 13 title game as the first player to ever win two titles in the span of 10 months — and across two different professional leagues.
Victor Bolden’s Championship Year
Bills fans may not remember Bolden’s brief tenure with in Buffalo as he joined the team late in the 2018 season and served in a limited role as a return specialist. Bolden returned five kicks for a 23.3-yard average after being signed off the practice squad of the San Francisco 49ers.
Bolden did not return to the Bills the next season and saw his NFL career derailed when he was handed a four-game suspension for a performance-enhancing drug violation. Bolden had stints on the Detroit Lions’ practice squad over the next two seasons, but did not appear in another NFL game.
Bolden did make the most of his opportunity in the USFL last season, making 41 receptions for 397 yards and a touchdown and adding another 618 kick return yards and 176 punt return yards. Bolden’s 1,209 all-purpose yards led the league, and his six receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown in the title game earned him MVP honors.
Bolden did not have so big of an impact in his abbreviated tenure with the Renegades. He joined the XFL team after being released by the Denver Broncos, where he spent time last season on the practice squad. He finished the season with three receptions for 40 yards, returning one kick for 26 yards and two punts for a negative 2.0-yard average.
Though the Renegades finished the season 4-6, they went on a run in the XFL playoffs and knocked off the 9-1 D.C. Defenders in the title game on Saturday. Bolden made one catch for 8 yards and returned a punt for 9 yards in the 35-26 victory.
Victor Bolden Could Still Return to NFL
There could still be a path back to the NFL for Bolden, who spent time with both the Arizona Cardinals and Broncos last season. A number of other XFL players have already earned tryouts with NFL teams, with the Bills looking at a handful.
As Pro Football Network reported, the Bills hosted Orlando Guardians quarterback Quinten Dormady, Seattle Sea Dragons defensive back Antoine Brooks and offensive lineman Eric Magwood and defensive back Nate Meadows of the St. Louis Battlehawks.
Another former Bills player from Bolden’s lone season in Buffalo could also earn another NFL shot. Quarterback A.J. McCarron, who competed with rookie Josh Allen for the starting job in training camp in 2018 before being traded to the then-Oakland Raiders, was named league MVP by XFL News Hub, one of the few news outlets that exclusively covered the league.