DeMarquis Gates parlayed another impressive stint in a startup football league into an NFL roster spot.
The Vikings will sign Gates, according to a league source, after he played five games for the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks, tallying 32 combined tackles (three for a loss), three pass deflections, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. He’s a former four-star recruit from Hampton, Ga. who led Ole Miss in tackles from 2015-2017.
A year ago, the 24-year-old Gates was also the tackling leader through eight weeks for the now-defunct Alliance of American Football with the Memphis Express. He then signed with the Washington Redskins last summer. Gates was initially an undrafted signing by the Cleveland Browns in May 2018.
He’ll be the sixth linebacker on the current Vikings roster, joining Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Eric Wilson, Ben Gedeon and Cameron Smith.
NFL teams could begin signing former XFL players on Monday.
The Houston Chronicle first reported the news.