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Vikings sign XFL LB Demarquis Gates

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It’s the team’s first signing from the XFL

Seattle Dragons v Houston Roughnecks Photo by Thomas Campbell/XFL via Getty Images

Free agency continues in the National Football League, and the Minnesota Vikings have signed their first free agent from the too-soon departed XFL.

Numerous reports on social media have said that the purple have signed Houston Roughnecks linebacker Demarquis Gates to a free agent deal.

(No relation.)

This is the second “alternative” football league that Gates has been a part of, as he played for the Memphis Express of the AAF in 2019. Following that league closing their doors, he was signed by the Washington Redskins. His time in Washington was short-lived, however, as they waived Gates in June after signing him in April.

The highlight of Gates’ time in the XFL came in Week 4, as he made a big play in the shadow of the Roughnecks’ goal line to seal the Roughnecks’ 27-20 victory over the Dallas Renegades. It was a pretty impressive play, as you can see.

(The stats have that down as a fumble recovery. I thought it was an interception. Impressive either way.)

Gates made another big fumble recovery the next week to preserve the Roughnecks’ win over the Seattle Dragons. . .after which he threw a punch at a Seattle player and was promptly ejected.

Because this is the XFL, though, he was interviewed right after he got booted.

And signed a few autographs on the way out.

Gates is one of a handful of players that have been signed since XFL players were officially allowed to sign with NFL teams following the cancellation of their season after just five games. The Roughnecks ended the season as the league’s lone undefeated team at 5-0, and Gates was a pretty big part of their defense.

Welcome to Minnesota, Demarquis!