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Travis Rudolph listed on XFL's Orlando Guardians roster after murder acquittal

Former Florida State star found not guilty by Palm Beach County jury
Florida State Seminoles receiver Travis Rudolph in 2016
Posted at 12:41 PM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-31 14:45:01-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former Florida State football star and NFL receiver Travis Rudolph has been added to the roster of Florida's lone XFL team.

Rudolph, 27, was listed on the Orlando Guardians website Monday, more than a month after his acquittal in a 2021 fatal shooting in Lake Park.

The West Palm Beach native appears to be getting a second chance at professional football after a Palm Beach County jury found him not guilty of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in June.

Travis Rudolph speaks outside a Palm Beach County courthouse on June 7, 2023, shortly after he was found not guilty on all counts in a murder trial.

Florida State University

Former FSU star Travis Rudolph found not guilty on all counts

Scott Sutton
2:17 PM, Jun 07, 2023

Rudolph testified during his murder trial that he acted in self-defense when Dominique Jones recruited her brother and his friends to "shoot up his s---" after they got into an argument shortly before the April 7, 2021, shooting that killed Sebastien Jean-Jacques.

A star wide receiver at Cardinal Newman High School, Rudolph went on to play at Florida State. He hauled in 153 catches for 2,311 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons with the Seminoles from 2014-16.

Although he wasn't drafted after leaving school early for the NFL, Rudolph signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent and spent the 2017 season with the team.

Rudolph was signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad in 2018 but tore an ACL on his first day of workouts and never played in the NFL again.

New York Giants receiver Travis Rudolph works out during training camp, Aug. 21, 2018
New York Giants wide receiver Travis Rudolph works out during training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J.

He signed with the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2020, but the team released him after his arrest.

"I got my freedom back, and I can get back to my life," Rudolph told reporters on June 7 after his acquittal.

It seems he's taken the first step to doing so with the Guardians.

Andy Seeley, a spokesman for the Guardians, said the team acquired the rights to Rudolph on Friday.

If Rudolph plays for the Guardians in 2024, he could be catching passes from his former college quarterback. Deondre Francois, who began his career at Florida State before being kicked off the team in 2019, played in four games for the Guardians last season, going 20-of-39 for 140 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Orlando's XFL team is coached by former Florida State star Terrell Buckley, who won the 1991 Jim Thorpe Award presented to the best defensive back in college football and spent six of his 14 seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.