The XFL Draft is right around the corner, and New England Patriots fans should recognize a few familiar names. Running back Jonas Gray is one of three former Patriots declaring for the startup league, alongside wide receiver Devin Lucien and one-time team hero Sterling Moore. These players are three of countless players hoping to keep their professional football careers alive in the XFL.
Jonas Gray, Devin Lucien, Sterling Moore Former Patriots Declaring For XFL Draft
Gray is probably the biggest name of the former Patriots. The running back, of course, had a brief flash of success with New England back in the 2014 season. After Stevan Ridley tore his ACL in Week 6, Gray took over as the early-down runner for the better part of a month. Gray, a former undrafted free agent, recorded 412 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 89 carries. His best game by far came on Sunday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts. During that prime-time matchup, Gray ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns as New England cruised to an easy victory. Gray earned a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated, yet immediately fell out of grace in New England.
Gray arrived late to practice the following week while the Patriots picked LeGarrette Blount off waivers during that same stretch of time. For the remainder of the season, Blount served as the lead back while Gray hardly saw the field. Even though he finished as the 2014 Patriots leading rusher, he was a healthy scratch for Super Bowl 49.
Gray and the Patriots parted ways following the 2014 season. The running back landed on his feet, spending parts of the 2015 season with the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Gray hasn’t played a snap of regular season football since 2015.
Had the Patriots won Super Bowl 46, Moore would likely be a household name in New England. The defensive back appeared in six regular season games for the 2011 Patriots and emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in an admittedly terrible secondary. Spending the majority of his time at cornerback, Moore’s biggest moment in New England came when he broke up a last-second touchdown pass to Lee Evans which would have sent the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl. Instead, Billy Cundiff missed the game-tying field goal and New England advanced to face the Giants for the second time.
Moore started the 2012 season in New England, but couldn’t recapture his 2011 form. After struggling at both cornerback and safety, the Patriots released Moore and signed him to the practice squad. Interestingly enough, Moore actually carved out a decent NFL career. The versatile defensive back spent parts of three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before spending one year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and two with the New Orleans Saints. He spent the 2018 season out of football but clearly still has the itch to stay in the game. Throughout his 75-game NFL career, Moore has six interceptions, 40 pass deflections, and 193 tackles.
Jonas Gray and Sterling Moore both had their moments with New England, but Devin Lucien is nothing more than an offseason signee for New England. The Patriots initially drafted Lucien in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but the Arizona State product couldn’t crack the regular season roster. While he hasn’t appeared in a regular season game, he’s spent time with the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as part of the practice squad. Additionally, Lucien played for the Memphis Express in the short-lived AAF.
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