Former Florida WR Antonio Callaway added to XFL team's roster
Off-the-field issues have prevented Antonio Callaway from playing of late. But now, the former Florida wide receiver is going to get a chance to prove himself.
On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Vipers of the newly reformed XFL announced that they have added Callaway via waivers. It will be the first time Callaway has been on a team since he was waived by the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 14.
Callaway was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 NFL season due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He later showed up late to Browns meetings and practices, and he was facing a 10-game suspension at the time of his release for using a tainted CBD product.
Callaway appealed that suspension, but he lost on Nov. 15, getting suspended for the final seven weeks of the 2019 season and the first three weeks of the 2020 season.
Although Callaway won’t be able to play those first three games of the next NFL season, he’ll have a chance to prove he can stay out of trouble and still play at a high level during the XFL season, which could entice some NFL teams to give him a chance later this year.
Callaway had eight receptions for 89 yards in four games (two starts) for the Browns in 2019. In his rookie season in 2018, he played all 16 games, making 11 starts, and totaling 43 receptions for 586 yards and five touchdowns.
Prior to getting selected by Cleveland in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Callaway played at Florida from 2015-17, but he missed all of 2017 due to suspension.
The XFL, which features eight teams, begins play on Feb. 8, but the Tampa Bay Vipers won’t play their first game until the following day, when they travel to take on the New York Guardians on Feb. 9. The 10-week regular season runs until mid-April and will be followed by a four-team playoff.