XFL officially cancels return season, frees players to sign NFL contracts Monday

In the wake of the XFL officially canceling the remainder of its inaugural season because of the coronavirus pandemic, NFL teams will be allowed to begin signing former XFL players on Monday at 9 a.m. ET, according to an NFL spokesman.

Two players from the Houston Roughnecks, quarterback P.J. Walker and receiver Cam Phillips, top the list of available players. In five games, Walker threw for 1,338 yards and 15 touchdowns while Phillips caught 31 passes for 455 yards and 9 touchdowns.

The NFL initially planned for XFL players to be off-limits until April 27, the day after the XFL's scheduled championship game. But the XFL suspended its season last week amid the spread of coronavirus and announced Friday that it had formally canceled its season.

In a letter to fans released Friday, the XFL renewed its pledge to resume play next year.

"We're grateful for the incredible response," the letter read, "and look forward to playing full season for you -- and with you -- in 2021 and beyond."

The XFL had previously pledged to pay players their full season's salary regardless of the fate of the season. Any player who wants to sign an NFL or CFL contract starting Monday will be released from his XFL contract. If a player is asked to participate in an NFL or CFL workout, the XFL will continue to pay the player after signing a waiver and release form.