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Amid the Merger Talks, Ryan Navarro Returns To Where He’s Comfortable

The Stars have re-signed long snapper Ryan Navarro for the 2024 season locking up two key members from their special teams unit.

The Stars have re-signed long snapper Ryan Navarro for the 2024 season. Despite the confusion with the official announcement from the USFL and XFL about their intention to merge, teams have continued to build their rosters for 2024. IF all 16 teams survive into the 2024 season these moves make sense, if teams get cut from this new league, these moves could be looked at in a bad manner long-term.

Ryan Navarro has been a fairly consistent player for the Stars through two seasons. Navarro is a spring football staple, having played in the Alliance of American Football in 2019, before heading to the XFL in the 2020 season where Navarro played under future Philadelphia Stars Special Teams Coordinator Martin Bayless.

special teams
photo credit Carney Coaching

When Bayless made the decision to join the USFL as a member of the Stars staff, it should have been a foregone conclusion that he would follow Bayless given his status as a free agent. The former high school wrestler, and track star has been a valuable player on the special teams unit in through two seasons in the USFL. Navarro crossed paths with former NFL kicker Nick Novak in the XFL with the Los Angeles Wildcats. After the 2020 season, Novak retired and turned to coaching special teams and Navarro was part of the guys who worked with him during the 2020 covid year.

Originally a JUCO product he ended up finishing out his college career with the Oregon State Beavers. Playing in 24 games as the starting long snapper, Navarro had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery showing he holds value in the coverage aspect of the game, while being able to hold his own as a blocker as well.

He spent the 2017 training camp with the Raiders but didn’t make their roster, and would spend 2018 fighting for a job with the Redskins before being released in final cuts. After that he turned to alternative football leagues where he has developed into a very capable and consistent player. The Stars have now re-signed two of the three key members of their special teams unit, ensuring if the Stars return in 2024 they can again count on their kicking game to come through when it is needed.

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