On Tuesday night, the New Jersey Generals announced that they’ve released their top RB selected in the USFL Draft, RB Mike Weber. The Generals have signed veteran TE Wes Saxton to take Mike Weber’s spot on the roster.
The release of former Ohio State standout Mike Weber by the Generals may come off as a surprise to many. Considering the player’s pedigree and his projected starting status at RB before the season started. However, due to the team’s depth at the position, the limitations in the USFL with smaller 35 player active rosters, and the rash of injuries that hit New Jersey in week one. This transaction is not as shocking when you peel off the top layers.
After all, Mike Weber missed practice leading into Week 1 due to a knee injury. New Jersey transferred him to their practice squad before opening the season against the Birmingham Stallions. Then on Monday, the team released an updated injury report, which listed Weber as limited to start the workweek before Friday’s game with the Michigan Panthers.
Late on Tuesday/Wednesday morning, the New Jersey Generals released their practice report from earlier in the day.
With both tailbacks, Darius Victor and Trey Williams having successful opening weeks, helping New Jersey’s ground attack produce a staggering 244 yards on the ground against Birmingham. Carrying Mike Weber on the roster seemed like a luxury rather than a necessity, and the numbers game killed the chances of seeing Weber team up with Victor and Williams, at least for now. The trio had labeled themselves as the three amigos in camp.
It’s unknown at this point the severity of Mike Weber’s injury. But if he can get healthy. Considering his talent level, it’s very possible that if the Generals don’t bring Weber back at some point, another USFL team could bring him on board.
The possibility of New Jersey signing a TE was raised earlier this week when the Generals were forced to play without a tight end after the team’s top two players at the position went down to injury. OL Robert Myers had to step in and play some TE after Nick Truesdell missed week one and after Braedon Bowman went down to an ankle injury against the Stallions. TE Woody Brandom is currently the team’s only healthy player at the position.
Bowman has missed practices to open this week. And Nick Truesdell also did not participate due to a lingering groin injury. The Generals’ week two game is just a few days away on Friday night, and New Jersey is running out of options at the position.
Enter Wes Saxton, the well-traveled 28-year-old TE.
Wes Saxton is no stranger to playing in non-NFL pro leagues, having done so in the AAF and XFL. Saxton, the Birmingham, Alabama-born native, has plenty of familiarity and experience playing in his home state, in college with South Alabama, and with the Iron three years ago.
The talented 6’4 240lb pass-catcher out of South Alabama has had quite the journeyman career in the pros. Not counting his foray into spring pro football. Saxton has had eight different stints with six different NFL teams since 2015.
With the birth of the ‘New’ USFL and a perfect storm of injuries, all coming at once for New Jersey, Saxton has found himself another place to play pro football again.
April 20, 2022 at 10:14 am
W/O an injured reserve, which in a short season makes some sense. I wonder if a general league wide Practice Squad for IR type might be something to consider. Perhaps up to 2 per team with the expectation they will be able to return in the season. Yes that’s more money but much less than an active player. I think things will adapt over time and with XFL coming in 2023.
April 20, 2022 at 12:51 pm
Tough loss but couldn’t be more impressed with week 1 in general. With such a short window to get off the ground I honestly was expecting cringe worthy play from the USFL after seeing solid football starts from AAF and XFL. The results speak from themselves. There is enough talent, need, and interest for a spring league to be successful. Now it just has to be smart-fiscally sound.
April 22, 2022 at 10:16 pm
great article as per usual Mike