Two local players survive the Seattle Dragons’ final cut

The XFL franchise trims its roster to 52 players in advance of its inaugural season

SEATTLE — Connor Hamlett and Taniela Tupou both made the final cut, though in slightly different manners.

The XFL’s Seattle Dragons announced their final roster Monday as they cut down from 71 to 52 players. Hamlett a tight end and Meadowdale High School graduate, made the final 52. Tupou, a defensive tackle and Archbishop Murphy High School graduate, was placed on the reserved/injured list.

The Dragons, one of eight teams in the newest professional football venture, open play Feb. 8 on the road against the DC Defenders. Seattle’s home opener is against the Tampa Bay Vipers on Feb. 15 at CenturyLink Field.

Hamlett was one of four tight ends to make the final roster. The 27-year-old, who measures in at 6-foot-7 and 259 pounds, played his college football at Oregon State from 2011-14, where he caught 104 passes for 1,109 yards and 10 touchdowns over 34 games. He spent time with five different NFL organizations, appearing in three games with the Cleveland Browns in 2016 and catching one pass, which was a 17-yard touchdown. He was a member of the AAF’s Arizona Hotshots last year prior to that league shutting down operations midway through its inaugural season.

Tupou was one of two players placed on the reserve/injured list. The 27-year-old, who measures 6-1 and 280 pounds, played college ball at Washington from 2012-15, where he finished with 59 tackles in 28 contests. He spent time with three different NFL organizations, including the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he was used as both a defensive tackle and a fullback. He never appeared in a regular-season NFL game. He played in the short-lived AAF last season as a member of the San Diego Fleet. It was not specified what type of injury Tupou suffered.

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