The XFL is back for yet another iteration of the league, and the Green Bay Packers will be represented by one of their recent tight ends after being one of the first picks in the 2022 XFL Draft.
After selecting quarterbacks the day before, the XFL held their draft for the rest of the positions on Wednesday, November 6. Former Baylor running back Abram Smith was taken first overall, but a familiar name for Packers fans went a few picks later.
According to the league’s official Twitter account, former Packers tight end Sal Cannella was selected by the Arlington Renegades with the seventh overall pick.
Cannella will be catching passes from USFL star quarterback Kyle Sloter, with Oklahoma Sooners legend Bob Stoops working with the former Packers tight end as his head coach.
Sal Cannella’s Football Career
He wasn’t a household name for the Packers, but Cannella has found a way to keep his professional football career alive through different offseason football leagues.
Originally a transfer out of Scottsdale Community College, Cannella drew interest from a handful of programs including Maryland and Hawaii as a 4-star JUCO recruit. Despite interest from other schools, Cannella took his opportunity to play in the SEC for the Auburn Tigers.
Cannella played three seasons for Auburn, catching 25 passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns. After going undrafted out of college, Cannella has had brief stints with the Packers and Miami Dolphins, but has never seen regular season action in the NFL.
While he hasn’t been able to break into the NFL, Cannella became a star in the USFL. He was named to the All-USFL team in 2022 after leading all tight ends in the league with 368 receiving yards on 34 catches to go along with a pair of touchdowns.
Cannella will now have the opportunity to play a key role in Arlington’s offense in the XFL, and with such a prominent quarterback and head coach on the team, he has the chance to play a big role on his new team.
Latest Packers News
While Cannella is off to the XFL, the Packers are dealing with a lot while trying to get ready for a Thursday Night Football matchup against the Tennessee Titans.
The Packers parted ways with wide receiver Amari Rodgers and Kylin Hill heading into Week 10. Rodgers was released after a disappointing two seasons primarily serving as a return specialist, while head coach Matt LaFleur had some choice words when talking about why Hill was released by the team.
With questions about who will replace Rodgers as the punt return specialist, the Packers added veteran wide receiver Dede Westbrook to the practice squad. A former All-American at Oklahoma, Westbrook has plenty of experience at the pro level, including returning punts. He’ll have some competition on the team, but Westbrook could find his way onto the 53-man roster if he can prove to be an effective weapon on special teams.
Meanwhile, the Packers are eagerly awaiting the return of veteran wideout Randall Cobb, who was officially designated to return from injured reserve. Cobb had missed the last four games with a high-ankle sprain, but there’s a chance that he’ll be able to return to play against the Titans.
After an encouraging win over the Dallas Cowboys, the Packers have hope again, but they’ll have a tough test on Thursday to keep their playoff hopes alive.