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USFL Player Recap: Turpin Muffs Punt, Alums get Signed to Futures Deal

The final week of the NFL season saw Tucker Addington, DeMarquis Gates, and Tae Hayes play their final games of the NFL season. While USFL MVP and NFL pro bowler KaVontae Turpin saw a decrease in offensive snaps in the Week 18 finale vs the Commanders.

Turpin totaled 64 return yards bringing his All-Purpose total to 837 on the season. While Turpin did have overall have a solid game his muffed punt allowed the Commanders to score on Sam Howell’s first touchdown pass. He also recorded a tackle on the muffed punt.

DeMarquis Gates was signed to the Bears Active Roster becoming the sixth former USFL player to do so. The former Birmingham Stallion has appeared in 3 games for the team and saw 12 snaps in the Bears week 18 finale, he did record any statistics.

Former Philadelphia Stars Offensive Lineman Alex Akingbulu was signed to the Washington Commanders Active Roster for Week 18. After spending the first 17 weeks of the season on the Commanders Practice Squad the former Fresno State Bulldog, was active but did not play in Week 18. Micah Abernathy was also on the Falcons active roster but did not play.

Patriots Tucker Addington and Tae Hayes put together consistent performances for week 18. Addington put in a clean performance with seven plays on special teams recording no statistics, while Hayes played in 8 snaps and recorded a tackle. Hayes finishes the NFL season with 6 tackles over seven games between the Panthers and Patriots.

Roster Moves:

Former Pittsburgh Maulers Hunter Thedford has signed with the Denver Broncos on their practice squad. Thedford was converted from TE to OT and spent four weeks with the Patriots earlier in the season. He tried out with the team on Tuesday January 3rd. Thedford is now one of 24 USFL players on an NFL payroll right now.

As futures contract come out, so far Ike Brown, Isiaih Zuber, Hunter Thedford, Victor Bolden, Darrin Paulo, and Maurice Alexander have all been resigned. As futures contract come out more USFL players are expected to sign futures deals going into the 2023 NFL season.

Wrapping Up:

USFL alums saw at one point 28 players earn NFL pay checks throughout the NFL season. With 11 alums playing in an NFL game, and players overall earning over 8 million dollars collectively it can be viewed by many that the USFL created a “successful” pathway for players to transition to NFL careers due to the USFL. As the USFL roles into season 2, it can be a safe assumption that the league can continue to build on the 57 players who used the league to begin/extend their NFL careers.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging out with his dogs in his off time.

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