Shane Bowman just wanted another chance to play football — and the former Husky was excited he had a chance to do that while staying at home with the XFL Seattle Dragons.
“Honestly, I could not have had a better situation with me living here and all of my family here,” the former Bellevue High School star said last month at the end of the team’s minicamp. “I couldn’t be happier to be here.”
But there are no givens in professional football, and Bowman now will play on the other side of the country after the Dragons traded him Sunday to Tampa Bay for receiver Alonzo Moore and guard William Campbell.
That certainly wasn’t what Bowman, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle who finished his Washington career in 2018, had in mind when he was drafted by the Dragons in October. That led to a reunion with his Bellevue High football coach, Butch Goncharoff, the Dragons’ running back coach.
“Bellevue pride,” Bowman said. “Butch and I are real close. He is one of the best coaches I have ever been with.”
Bowman also takes pride in UW, where he spent five years, including his redshirt year. He played two seasons with younger brother Ryan, an outside linebacker who was second team All-Pac-12 this past year as a junior.
“Me and him are real close,” said Shane, who received UW football’s athletic achievement award as a senior. “He had a great year this last year, and he is looking to build on it.”
Shane was looking to build on a fast start in his senior season, getting four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against Auburn in the 2018 season opener.
His season was soon derailed, however, by a foot injury that cost him six games. He was back starting in the Pac-12 title game against Utah and in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State, but he went undrafted last spring.
“I think I missed a lot of valuable time,” he said. “But I ended up getting an opportunity with the (Jacksonville) Jaguars and the (Tampa Bay) Buccaneers.”
After getting waived this past June by Jacksonville, he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He reinjured his foot and was waived with an injury settlement.
That left him without a team. At least until the XFL draft, when he was taken by Seattle in the open phase. Bowman said at the end of Dragons minicamp that he was fully healthy again, and the Tampa Bay Vipers obviously agreed, trading two players for him.
“This is just another opportunity to play football at the professional level,” he said last month. “We’ll see what happens, but I am going to put everything I got into the Seattle Dragons.”
He still gets his chance, but a long way from where he expected.