Immediately following the conclusion of the UFLs successful inaugural season, NFL teams began contacting players. As of June 25, 2024, more than a dozen UFL players had signed contracts with NFL teams.

The Latest Signings

The two latest players to find a new home with an NFL team include Birmingham Stallions running back Ricky Person Jr. and San Antonio Brahmas defensive tackle Prince Emili. Person signed a contract with the Seattle Seahawks, and Emili will join the Atlanta Falcons.

Person graduated from North Carolina State in 2022 and signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. Waived by the Ravens in March of 2023 following an injury, Person came storming back to sign with the Stallions. He had a terrific season in the UFL, recording 297 yards on 93 carries with a league-leading six touchdowns plus an additional 150 yards receiving yards on 13 catches.

Given his UFL success, Person’s signing with an NFL team wasn’t surprising. But, his NFL team destination was unexpected. Seattle already has a strong backfield with running backs Kenneth Walker Jr. and Zach Charbonnet. Walker accounted for almost 1,000 rushing yards in 2023 with eight touchdowns and will likely be the RB1.

Zach Charbonnet, selected as a second-round pick in 2023, played in 16 games and finished the year with 462 yards on 108 carries with one touchdown. Adding Person to such a competent duo is a bit baffling. It will be interesting to see how he fits into Seattle’s offensive scheme.

Emili’s signing with the Falcons is another surprise. Although his stats weren’t outstanding with 21 tackles and three sacks, clearly new Head Coach Raheem Morris believes he will fit in well with the Falcons’ defense.     

Who Will Be Next?

 In the days and weeks ahead, additional UFL players will be snapped up. There are still several excellent players available. Who will be signed and why will other talented players be overlooked?

Michigan Panthers outstanding DE, Breeland Speaks, recognized as the UFLs’ Defensive Player of the Year, has been contacted by the Tennessee Titans and the Carolina Panthers. Speaks can be a smothering defensive presence.  His best game this season was against the Memphis Showboats when Speaks had six tackles, three sacks, and one broken-up pass.

The Titans have also shown interest in Andre Szymt, the St. Louis Battlehawks kicker. Szymt led the league with 19/21 field goals with his longest kick at 61 yards.

Making An Immediate Impact

Certain skill positions are easier to fill than others. Running backs and wide receivers might be easier to sign because they can fill a gap in the roster. Memphis Showboats wide receiver Daewood Davis (Carolina Panthers) and St. Louis Battlehawks running back Jacob Saylors (New York Giants)were signed to teams where they could have an immediate impact.

Other positions, such as quarterback, may be more complicated. It seems like a no-brainer for an NFL team to immediately sign Championship Birmingham Stallions / UFL MVP Adrian Martinez and Arlington Renegades quarterback, Luis Perez. But despite their outstanding UFL season and league-leading statistics, it may not be that easy. Their position on a crowded depth chart and team salary issues may become a factor. Neither quarterback is eager to join a team where they will be relegated to a role as a third-string backup. But, hopefully, these talented individuals will get the opportunity they deserve to shine in the NFL.

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author avatar
Sue Levine
Sue Levine spent the past five years creating and producing a successful weekly health and wellness podcast starring a wonderful iconic woman as the program host. As part of Sue's responsibilities, she scripted every episode and discovered a genuine love of writing. When the podcast ended late last year, she shifted the focus of her writing to covering pro sports. A passionate fan of NFL and UFL football as well as fantasy, she is delighted to be able to share her articles with other football fans.

1 Comment

  • Posted June 29, 2024 8:41 am 0Likes
    by scott A farley

    Good article. Keep it up!

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