It is officially official. The USFL and XFL have merged into a new league: the UFL. The two-time defending champs of the USFL, the Birmingham Stallions, unsurprisingly made the cut for the new eight-team league. Now that the merger is behind us, things are going to really ramp up before the league kicks off on March 30th. First things first, the Stallions must finalize their roster for 2024. Let’s take a look at their last round of free-agent signings before considering what lies ahead.
Contract Terminated / Signing with NFL Team: • TE La’Michael Pettway
Free Agent Signings: • WR Adrian Hardy • CB Bryan Mills • ILB Kyahva Tezino • TE Thaddeus Moss • WR Binjimen Victor, Ohio State • OT Armani (Alex) Taylor-Prioleau, South Carolina State
The biggest signing for the Stallions before the close of free agency was linebacker Kyahva Tezino. Tezino spent the past two seasons with the Pittsburgh Maulers. Last year, he was the best defender on the best defense in the league and likely came very close to being named USFL Defensive Player of the Year (which ultimately went to Michigan’s Frank Ginda).
Tezino finished the season with 116 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and six pass deflections. These are monster numbers for only 12 games—matched only by Ginda.
BREAKING: The Birmingham Stallions are signing All-USFL LB Kyahva Tezino. @KYAHVA44 dominated the #USFL this year in Pittsburgh, posting 94 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 INT, 2 FF.
Tezino instantly becomes an impact player and defensive captain for the Stallions. The linebacker position was a struggle for the Stallions at times in 2023. DeMarquis Gates, arguably the Stallions’ best player in 2022, left for the NFL. Scooby Wright was injured and missed most of the season. Quentin Poling emerged as a star for the Stallions defense but left the team for personal reasons. Tezino stabilizes and fortifies one of the Stallions’ only potential weaknesses.
Another nice addition for the Stallions was wide receiver Binjimen Victor. Victor (6’4, 200) had a fantastic collegiate career at Ohio State, catching 83 passes for 1,340 yards and 18 touchdowns. His size and speed made him a great red zone threat, and over 20% of his catches were touchdowns.
After college, Victor signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent. He spent the 2020 season on their practice squad. In 2021, he spent the season on the Ravens practice squad. In 2022, he began the season on the Ravens practice squad again but was elevated to the active roster for a couple of games. Unfortunately, that was his last NFL opportunity as of now.
The Stallions signed Victor to their already deep wide receiver room. However, Victor’s stature is something other Stallions wide receivers lack. He will look to fill an important role on the team, especially with La’Michael Pettway re-signing with an NFL team.
TE Thaddeus Moss, WR Adrian Hardy, CB Bryan Mills
Interestingly, the Stallions re-signed three players they had released previously this offseason. Tight end Thaddeus Moss, wide receiver Adrian Hardy, and cornerback Bryan Mills were all with the team in 2023. However, all three saw their time with the Stallions come to an end after the season.
Most likely, these players were re-signed to allow them to find a new home in the UFL. The Stallions will only be able to protect 42 players from their current roster, it is unlikely these three will be a part of that number given their previous release.
However, they could always find their way back to the Stallions if they are released and not picked up by another UFL team in the upcoming draft.
The tweet below shows the Stallions roster now. As things currently stand, the Stallions have 67 players on the team.
However, the Stallions can only keep 42 players before Friday’s dispersal draft. That means they will have to release 25 players before then. However, they could always pick those players back up in the second, league-wide draft on January 15th.
It is hard to say who exactly the Stallions will retain, but I took a stab at it after their flurry of signings. Obviously, returning starters and big-name free-agent additions have the highest likelihood of being retained. But the Stallions roster is loaded with talent, and Skip Holtz and Zach Potter are going to have their work cut out for them trying to narrow it down.
Here is my attempt at predicting the Stallions’ 42-man roster.
Here it is: a 42-man roster. Not based on any insider information – just my speculation.
After the roster is trimmed down to 42 players, the Stallions will have the opportunity to add up to 20 players from departing teams (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New Orleans). Again, there will be loads of talent available, so it is hard to say who exactly the Stallions will acquire at this stage. Given that it will be a draft format, they likely will not be able to acquire all the players they want. But there is no doubt they will land some solid players from outgoing teams.
7 All-USFL players from ‘22 will also be in the draft
RB Darius Victor OT Terry Poole DT Reggie Howard Jr. LB Jerod Fernandez CB Channing Stribling S Shalom Luani S Bryce Torneden
I released a wish list of players I would like to see the Stallions sign. Obviously, the positions they target will be based on the players they do (or don’t) protect before the draft. So I made my list based on my projected 42-man roster.
Here is who I would like to see the Stallions sign.
🚨 DISPERSAL DRAFT WISHLIST 🚨
This was really difficult. There is so much talent to pick from. But here’s what I got.
There are obviously some huge names on the list such as former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reuben Foster. If the Stallions can land even a handful of these players, it will go a long way toward strengthening their roster after they lose 25 guys. We should find out early next week who exactly the Stallions retain and add, so stay tuned for more.
Who should the Birmingham Stallions keep for 2024? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!