New Jersey Generals Sign WR/KR De’Mornay Pierson-El
De’Mornay Pierson-El, who will be 27 years old, the day after Christmas, is a well-traveled pro player. The Nebraska standout has lived the journeyman life, having been with seven different pro teams since going undrafted in 2018. The 5’9, 185lb receiver/returner was most recently with the Denver Broncos in 2021.
Pierson- El has had four different stints on NFL rosters. But he is also no stranger to non-NFL leagues, having played in the CFL, AAF, and the XFL in 2020 for the St. Louis Battlehawks.
The addition of Pierson-El can help the New Jersey Generals replace the 2022 league MVP and current Dallas Cowboys player Kavontae Turpin. The Generals also lost Darrius Shepherd this offseason to the XFL. Ironically enough, to the team, Pierson-El played for in St. Louis back in 2020.
Generals Offseason Changes
The USFL informally announced in early summer that their eight teams would be permitted to expand their rosters from 50 to 75 in the offseason. As a result, it’s opened the door for new players to join the established league.
It’s been a long time since a fully-fledged spring pro football league in the United States has had a genuine offseason. That’s because leagues like the AAF and XFL 2020 didn’t complete their seasons. So this is a new territory being charted by recent followers of these alternative pro football leagues.
The USFL 2023 season is four months away, but that hasn’t prohibited teams from adding to their off-season rosters. The New Jersey Generals have had a busy offseason since last July. They have added 23 players to their expanded off-season roster. The Generals have also seen some roster and coach departures since the smoke settled on their 2022 season.
Mike Riley’s Generals team is coming off a successful 9-1 campaign, which saw them fall one step short of playing in the USFL’s championship game. New Jersey has several question marks heading into the new year. Like where the team will call home in 2023 (Early reports have suggested a northern hub in Michigan) and who will be the team’s quarterback next season.
With Luis Perez heading back to the XFL in Las Vegas. NJ has DeAndre Johnson and Kyle Lauletta most likely in line to start at QB in 2023, and both could be used in a rotation. Similar to last season. Coincidentally, the Generals 2022 defensive coordinator Cris Dishman has also departed to Vegas, with defensive assistant Bob Diaco expected to take over New Jersey’s play-calling on defense.
Other key Generals figures in 2022 have seemingly also taken the plunge elsewhere for 2023. Defensive backs DeJuan Neal (DC Defenders) and De’Vaunte Bausby (Renegades) have been drafted by XFL teams. As well as first-team All-USFL offensive linemen Garrett McGhin (Arlington).
But breaking news on the USFL reaching a CBA agreement with their players through the United Steelworkers union could open the door for 2022 league players to return to their teams in 2023. USFL players are expected to see a salary increase of $45,000 per season to $53,500.
In June, USFL players voted to be represented by the USW. United Football Players Association President Kenneth Farrow, who played six seasons of professional football and, ironically enough, was recently drafted in the XFL for Bob Stoops, said that the power of a union will make a significant impact on players who often face uncertainty due to injuries, poor facilities, and bankrupt employers.
“Every worker deserves the opportunity to bargain for better pay, benefits, and working conditions as part of a union,” Farrow said. “Players can guarantee a stronger voice in determining their own futures by bargaining as part of a collective.”Kenneth Farrow-UFPA President
The landscape has changed immensely for pro football players in the Spring. It’s opened the door for players like De’Mornay Pierson-El to continue their professional careers. And for leagues like the USFL to become a viable pathway.
Like all eight USFL teams, the New Jersey Generals are in off-season mode, dealing with the challenges of free agency. But unlike other pro teams in free agency, they are facing the challenges of losing players to teams in other leagues. The Generals have adjusted accordingly as they make their way to year two. A phrase and reality that hasn’t existed for a spring pro football league in ages.