A source confirmed that, as of now, the tryout is real.
The opportunity to kick in the XFL has presented itself, i must tryout Monday in Houston, I'm excited as hell & I'm sure all will go well 🙏🏿— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) January 14, 2020
Johnson, 42, last played in an NFL game in February 2012, catching one pass for the New England Patriots during a Super Bowl XLVI loss. He was named to six Pro Bowls as a receiver, but often expressed sincere interest in kicking. In fact, he converted an extra point and kicked off for the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2009 preseason.
He tweeted that he hopes it could lead to a chance to compete for a spot on an NFL roster as a kicker, saying, "Pretty far fetched but imagine me being consistent during an XFL season & getting a chance at a 53 man roster in the NFL, even i don't make it just being able to compete for a spot at a entirely different position will be so riveting."
Last month, Johnson posted an Instagram video in which he converted what appeared to be a 60-yard field goal.
XFL rules for the kicking game are different than in the NFL. There are no extra point kicks, and kickoffs are to be spotted at either the 25- or 30-yard line, making a touchback unlikely.
Johnson would be by far the most high-profile player to try out publicly for the XFL. The league has largely eschewed big-name players in favor of those who would best fit its attempts to quicken the pace and excitement of games. Players from all eight teams have been in training camp around the Houston area since Jan. 4. The season kicks off Feb. 8.