The Memphis Showboats were extremely active this Wednesday, however, were able to bring back some familiar faces. Leading the charge on the Showboats busy Wednesday was the announcement of Rashard Davis and Derrick Dillon both returning to the Showboats. Davis and Dillon both left the USFL after earning opportunities with the Jets and Browns respectively. The Showboats also traded for DB Josh Nurse and also released DB Christian Campbell from Penn St.
The Showboats bringing back their top 2 receivers in Dillon and Davis, is a huge move especially with the loss of Jordan Ta’amu to the DC Defenders. The duo totaled 755 yards and 6 touchdowns for the Bandits/Showboats in 2022. The most important factor is bringing back Davis who was drafted by the XFL in their November draft by the Seattle Sea Dragons, Davis was also drafted by the DC Defenders in 2019 for the XFL 2.0 but did not sign with the league back then.
Derrick Dillon the other hand was not drafted by any XFL teams and a true free agent. After seeing 57 USFL players leave to the NFL, and 20 players get drafted Dillon was one of 10 “free agents” not assigned to either the XFL, USFL, or NFL. The signing of Dillon brings that figure down to 9 as he is also the 7th USFL player to sign an NFL contract and then return to the USFL.
The Showboats also decided to part ways with Christian Campbell. A CFL veteran (5 starts in 2021), the Penn State alum was drafted in the 10th round of the USFL draft and recorded 12 tackles last year for the Bandits/Showboats. To replace Campbell the Showboats traded for Josh Nurse in exchange for UAB alum Austin Watkins. Watkins goes “home” to the Birmingham Stallions while Nurse was with the Stallions for their championship run after being signed to the team on June 14th.
With the return of Davis and Dillon despite the uncertainty at Quarterback the Showboats can go into the 2023 season a bit more comfortable moving forward. Adding two NFL caliber Receivers and bringing in an NFL vet like Josh Nurse sures up a team going through huge transition not just at quarterback but also with a name/location change as well. Regardless the Showboats being led with by Todd Haley and bringing multiple veterans of the USFL and NFL allow the team to lean on experience and leadership moving forward for the 2023 USFL season.