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New Jersey Generals Re-Sign Twelve Core Players In First Stages Of The Offseason

New Jersey Generals GM Billy Devaney and his staff continue to bring back key members of the team for the 2024 season and beyond. The Generals have re-signed 12 players who started with the team in 2022.

New Jersey Generals Re-Sign 12 2022 Players To New League Contracts

The most recent re-signings are that of standout safety Shalom Luani and linebacker D’Juan Hines.

As chronicled here in multiple articles at Newshub by myself and @sam-just, In the last week, the New Jersey Generals have also re-signed LB Chris Orr, WR Alonzo Moore, S Paris Ford, TE Braedon Bowman, RB Darius Victor, RB Kingston Davis, S Dravon Askew-Henry, OT Calvin Ashley TE Wes Saxton, South Alabama, and OT Isaiah Battle.

Each one of these players has something in common. They are original members of the revived Generals, having signed a one-year contract in 2022 with a bilateral option year. Sources indicate each of these twelve players has signed similar league deals. Although this time, unlike the original USFL 2022 contracts, the league has the option for a second year.

It’s expected, and rightfully so, that superstars like Darius Victor will be a member of the Generals in 2024 and 2025. His new deal is effectively a two-year deal.

There are other OG 2022 Generals who are currently free agents. Among them is All-USFL DT Toby Johnson. Sources indicate that he is weighing his options. But the expectation is that if the NFL doesn’t come calling, that he will return to the league and team he has formed a bond with the last two years.

QB De’Andre Johnson, known for his dynamic dual-threat capabilities, is finally catching the eye of NFL franchises. The Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans are among the teams reportedly interested in Johnson. Johnson’s journey from Florida State to “Last Chance U” at East Mississippi, Texas Southern, and his last two seasons in the USFL have led him to this point.

The Generals would hate to lose Johnson. But he is deserving of an opportunity, and it’s the byproduct of having good players in your league.

New Jersey Generals Bring Back Two Key Defensive Stars For A Third Straight Season

D’Juan Hines is a 28-year-old Texas native. In 2023, the off-ball linebacker made 75 tackles (30 solo, 45 assists), one tackle for loss, and three pass breakups in ten games for New Jersey.

The Generals drafted Hines in the 2022 USFL Draft. In his first season, Hines he registered 78 tackles (52 solo, 26 assists), six tackles for loss, and five pass breakups in ten games.

Before his two-year stint with Jersey, Hines signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent. He also spent time with the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. In 2020, he played five games for the New York Guardians in XFL 2020 with 19 tackles (6 solo, 13 assists) and one interception. In 2021, he signed with the Ottawa Redblacks but was released at final cuts on July 29, 2021.

Collegiately, the linebacker hybrid, and former college WR, Hines played five seasons at the University of Houston (2013-17) with 171 tackles (95 solos, 76 assists), eight tackles for loss, one interception, four pass breakups, and three forced fumbles in 48 games. He was named First Team American All-Conference for the Cougars in 2017 and was a three-time All-Academic Team player.

BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA APRIL 16 Shalom Luani 25 of New Jersey Generals looks on after being defeated by the Birmingham Stallions 28 24 at Protective Stadium on April 16 2022 in Birmingham Alabama Photo by Carmen MandatoUSFLGetty Images

Shalom Luani is a 28-year-old from Pago Pago, American Samoa. He made 44 tackles (30 solo, 14 assists), two tackles for loss, one interception, and one pass breakup in nine games for New Jersey’s defense in 2023.

The Generals drafted Luani in the 2022 USFL Draft. In his first season, Luani registered 31 tackles (24 solo, seven assists), four tackles for loss, one sack, five interceptions, and nine pass breakups in eight games in 2022.

Before his two-year stint in the USFL, Luani famously played soccer in the ASFA Soccer Leagues for the Tafuna Jets. The then-Oakland Raiders drafted Luani in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Luani was a contributor in his early run in the NFL. He registered 18 tackles for the Raiders in his rookie season. In total, playing 31 career games in the NFL with the Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Los Angeles Chargers. In 2021, he made his foray into alternative league play with the Jousters in The Spring League.

Dating back to college, Shalom Luani has had a unique playing journey. He played at Chabot College before playing two seasons at City College of San Francisco. His starring turn in the junior college ranks put him on the radar as a four-star prospect before he landed at Washington State.

With the Cougars, Luani would become a First Team All-Pac 12 player in 2016.

The platform of the USFL has created an avenue for talented players like Luani to continue pursuing their professional careers.

Much is discussed about the value of the USFL as a springboard for the NFL. And understandably so, however, what the league has also provided is a permanent playing home. As crazy as it sounds with players as uber-talented as Hines, Luani, etc. They might not have found a home anywhere else if not for the revival of the United States Football League.

Hines, in particular, is someone who has tried his hand in Canada, but the numbers game didn’t work out. The NFL hasn’t come calling for players like Darius Victor in a long time. It would be a shame if fantastic players such as these weren’t playing pro football the last two years.

The existence of the USFL has kept these players going strong.

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