Many XFL stars signed with NFL teams for training camp as soon as the XFL shut down operations after the Coronavirus pandemic hit in March. The XFL was thriving beforehand but that's a story for another day. Anyways, you probably remember guys like Jordan Ta'amu, P.J. Walker, and Kenny Robinson getting NFL contracts, but one that probably should have that never did was St.Louis Battlehawks kicker Taylor Russolino.
Well, along with bringing in an emergency quarterback in free agent Blake Bortles after the Denver Broncos were left without a quarterback for last Sunday's game due to covid concerns, the Broncos are also bringing in the former Battlehawks kicker Russolino as a potential emergency kicker. He is expected to sign with the practice squad according to Mike Kils of 9News in Denver.
Russolino was dynamite for the Battlehawks in the XFL where he was 9/10 on field goals including a 58-yarder that looked good from 60+ in a game against the New York Guardians.
Russolino attended Millsaps college in Mississippi before spending some time in the CFL for the Montreal Alouettes and a few other professional teams across the country. Russolino eventually found himself in the XFL where he had by far his biggest stage and best performances of his career. Russolino has a 76.8% success rate over his professional playing career and has good size for a kicker at 6'0", 165lbs. At still just 31 years old, Russolino still has a tad bit of upside as kickers age very well in football and he'll have his first shot in the NFL and a chance to spend time on an NFL practice field.
As for the Broncos, this will be a low-risk/high-reward move as Russolino will only be on a practice squad deal until they decide to elevate him to the active roster. Brandon McManus will remain the starting Kicker bur Russolino will be insurance. Even if Russolino doesn't get any action this year, if he shows enough in practice or any type of preseason, he can be plucked by another kicker-needy team next season assuming everything works out. Typically, that would be the case any year but with the pandemic, NFL teams are allowed to protect players on their practice squad from being signed to other teams' rosters. For now, Russolino will be with Denver.