Cole McDonald continues his pro-football career this Monday morning. After the XFL-USFL merger ceased the XFL’s version of the Houston Roughnecks leaving the 2023 “homeless”, several players found themselves heading up North for the 2024 season. McDonald who was not selected during the UFL’s dispersal draft, will compete with Woodrow Trey Lowe III, Malik Henry, Tre Ford, and Jarrett Doege for the chance to back up CFL All-Star McLeod Bethel-Thompson coming off his 2023 season with the New Orleans Breakers.

McDonald ironically replaces Two XFL QBs, his former teammate Kaleb Eleby and Orlando Guardians LOI signee Todd Centeio. McDonald was a 7th Round draft pick in 2020 out of Hawaii to the Tennessee Titans. After being released in during training camp, McDonald would join the Arizona Cardinals in 2021, before being released by the team prior to training camp. McDonald spent the fall of 2021 with the Toronto Argonauts seeing action in one game for the Argos.

In May of 2022 McDonald was released and find his footing with the Houston Roughnecks after standing out during the XFL’s showcase taking place in Hawaii. McDonald would be utilized as the team’s RPO Quarterback, while also starting Two games, totaling 5 Touchdowns (2 Passing, 3 Rushing) along with over 700 yards of total offense.

McDonald who is only 26, will now have the opportunity to compete in a crowded QB room, for a chance to extend his professional career. With opportunities for “outdoor” Quarterbacks dwindling, McDonald may be able to utilize his skills set to effectively find a niche in the CFL, with hopes of possibly returning down south if he so chooses.

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Patrick Rifino

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