After the USFL wrapped up their season, things didn’t slow down for the league at all. 51 USFL alumni signed with NFL teams, in hopes of making their official rosters at the end of preseason.
Just had our 50th NFL signing ✍️
& we're not done yet! 👏😤 pic.twitter.com/RGwuCB89CT
— USFL (@USFL) August 14, 2022
Unfortunately, 49 of the 51 have been cut, or moved to the practice squad. That being said, two USFL standouts did make the roster.
KaVontae Turpin | WR, New Jersey Generals
Everyone is well aware of KaVontae Turpin’s story by now. He was an All-USFL wide receiver/specialist, putting on a show for the New Jersey Generals.
After the USFL’s season ended, Turpin signed with the Dallas Cowboys. They were impressed with what he accomplished in the USFL, and hoped that he could be an elite returner, which is something they lacked. They found exactly that in Turpin, who took the NFL by storm in the preseason.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL. KaVontae Turpin did it AGAIN. I'm speechless. There's really not much left to say. The #USFL MVP is simply out of this world.
Are we ready for one more shout of jubilation? Okay, cool. SAY IT WITH ME…SPRING. FOOTBALL. MATTERS!pic.twitter.com/9uk5SJxOf4
— James Larsen (@JamesLarsenMI) August 21, 2022
On top of his specialist skill set, KaVontae is very capable as a wide receiver. Head Coach Mike McCarthy has made an effort in getting Turpin more involved with the offense, and we should expect to see him run some routes during the regular season.
Set your ⏰ s. It’s #TurpinTime.@KaVontaeTurpin | #DALvsLAC pic.twitter.com/X2AJLiHaYt
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 17, 2022
The USFL’s MVP is just getting started. Turpin participated in several alternative leagues, such as the FCF, TSL, and ELF before joining the USFL. He led the league with 540 receiving yards, and made countless plays for them on special teams.
The USFL's MVP just signed a THREE YEAR deal with the Dallas Cowboys.
Spring. Football. Matters. I've watched @KaVontaeTurpin hop from league to league. Dominated in the FCF, TSL, ELF, and the #USFL. Now, the whole world is going to know his name. pic.twitter.com/MYCaGrQyxH
— James Larsen (@JamesLarsenMI) July 28, 2022
Without a doubt, KaVontae earned his roster spot with the team, and we look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in Dallas this year.
Micah Abernathy | S, Houston Gamblers
Micah Abernathy is one of the best stories to come out of training camp. In the USFL, Abernathy was a phenomenal safety for the Houston Gamblers. He turned things up in the second half of the year, making countless clutch plays in their secondary unit.
PICKED OFF PICKED OFF PICKED OFF
The defense does it again! 🔥
📺: @USA_Network pic.twitter.com/GUg8VkU6PH
— Houston Gamblers (@USFLGamblers) June 12, 2022
After impressing in the USFL, Abernathy signed with the Green Bay Packers. He had a lot of work to do to earn a roster spot, and ended up exceeding expectations.
Watch Micah Abernathy read this screen pass perfectly and then shoot out of a cannon to make the tackle…
Packers might've found themselves a hidden gem. pic.twitter.com/53uK3ftmFU
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) August 30, 2022
With the Packers struggling to find consistent playmakers in their secondary (and, dealing with injuries), Abernathy had a golden opportunity to make an impact. He did that – and more – ultimately landing himself an official roster berth to start the season.
One of the best stories of the offseason, former USFL player Micah Abernathy has made the #Packers' initial 53-man roster.
The way he played this preseason, he deserved that spot. pic.twitter.com/8ylXXFoEBr
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) August 30, 2022
This is great news for Micah, and the USFL. He went into training camp as an extra body, but turned out to be extremely impressive in many different ways. During his time with the Packers in preseason, Abernathy was one of the highest PFF graded defenders, and consistently showed that on a daily basis.
In the USFL, Abernathy racked up 71 total tackles, alongside a couple of interceptions. Without the national exposure of the USFL, Micah probably would not have seen this opportunity come his way.
Does the USFL matter? Yes! Here is what current GB Packer, Micah Abernathy had to say "Who knows? Who knows?" he said when
asked where he'd be without the USFL. "I'm
just grateful for the opportunity. It got me to where I want to be. I've just got to take
advantage of it." #USFL
— Robert Morris (@coachmo4040) August 31, 2022
In an unfortunate turn of events, #USFL alumni Micah Abernathy has been cut by the Green Bay Packers less than 24 hours after making the initial 53 man roster.
— James Larsen (@JamesLarsenMI) August 31, 2022
It’s encouraging to see a couple of USFL alumni actually stick with the league. Expect several others to land on practice squads; as Garrett McGhin, Domenique Davis, and others are very likely to find a home there.
Technically Chris Odom is still with the Cleveland Browns, being placed on IR due to an ACL tear he suffered last weekend. It’s unfortunate for the USFL’s DPOTY, as he was making quite a bit of noise before the injury.
Ike Brown and Victor Bolden did not retain roster spots, unfortunately. The two USFL stars were outstanding in preseason. Hopefully, they get another look soon, as they certainly deserve it.
Generally speaking, there are only so many roster spots available, and there are many free agents available. With leagues such as the USFL and XFL aiming to play in 2023, there will be plenty more opportunities than ever before.
What do you think of the initial 53 man rosters in the NFL? Which USFL alumni do you think should be given another chance? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!