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USFL to NFL: LS Tucker Addington, Taylor Bertolet, and Bailey Gaither Join NFL Teams

The USFL to NFL pipeline is alive and well right now as three players were signed to NFL squads so far this week. Breakers Kicker Taylor Bertolet, Maulers Receiver Bailey Gaither, and Gamblers Long Snapper Tucker Addington have all signed NFL Practice Squad contracts with the Chargers, Ravens, and Cowboys respectively. For the USFL the signing of Addington is the 53rd player to sign an NFL contract while Gaither and Bertolet are both on their 3rd and 2nd 2022 NFL contracts so far.

Addington is entering his first professional season for the USFL and NFL. After graduating from Sam Houston State Addington came to the Houston Gamblers after spending 2020, and 2021 out of Football and working as an assistant coach with the year-round football camp Texas Long Snapping. Upon the inaugural 2022 Supplemental USFL Draft, Addington would be selected in the 6th round (42nd overall) and would be a key piece in the Gamblers special teams unit that featured Nick Vogel and Andrew Galitz.

The Cowboys recently signed Addington due to Jake McQuaide tearing his triceps against the Washington Commanders during Week 4. Addington was not the only specialist signed as IFL/UFL alumnus Matt Overton was also brought in by Dallas and will most likely handle the snapping duties for the Cowboys.

Taylor Bertolet signs his second NFL contract of 2022, after spending about a week with the Carolina Panthers. The former New Orleans Breaker Kicker was brought in mid-way after Austin MacGinnis was replaced after Week 4. Bertolet who will be joining the LA Chargers now joins his 9th team over the span of four leagues is 43 of 63 over his career in the USFL, CFL, and AAF. Bertolet who has not appeared in an NFL game yet in looks to be in prime position to make his debut as Dustin Hopkins may be out with a right quad injury for week 5.

Bailey Gaither was the third USFL player to sign a contract this week for an NFL team. Gaither who broke camp with the Ravens, returns back to Baltimore after being waived on August 23rd. Gaither was also picked up by the Giants a day later but seemed to not be 100 percent healthy and was waived by the Giants due to a failed physical. Now during week 5 Gaither is once again back in the NFL space, as he went viral during the summer for “burning” 1st round pick Kyle Hamilton during 1v.1’s.

With the recent signing of the above-mentioned players to practice squads, the USFL currently has 19 players on an NFL payroll (1 Active, 17 PS, 1 IR). For a league that ended pretty late into NFL OTA’s the USFL continues to impress as it granted 53 men an opportunity to fulfill their NFL dreams. So far three USFL players (KaVontae Turpin, Maurice Alexander, and Micah Abernathy) have all made their debuts, as injuries continue to pile up in the NFL it’s only a matter of time before more USFL players get their chance to shine on the big stage in 2022.

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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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