Talking with All-USFL DB Channing Stribling (Philadelphia Stars) | Birmingham Stallions

Birmingham Stallions Cut Roster Down In UFL Training Camp

The Birmingham Stallions trimmed their roster down to 58 players this weekend. Stallions General Manager Zach Potter had built a loaded roster, so we knew some excellent players were going to be released. Still, there were some surprises amidst the cuts.

I broke the UFL cuts down in an extended video over the weekend. Here is a little bit on each player who was let go.

QB Jalen Morton

Sadly, this was a cut many people thought might be coming. The Stallions loaded up at QB this offseason, adding third-round NFL draft pick Matt Corral as well as rookie Adrian Martinez. After retaining J’Mar Smith and Morton, it was likely one of the four would be released. Morton was the odd man out given Smith’s experience and Corral and Martinez’s potential.

FB Bobby Holly

This one was a little bit of a surprise. Holly played a pivotal role for the Stallions in 2022 and has ties with Head Coach Skip Holtz that go as far back as Louisiana Tech. However, he missed almost all of last season after getting injured in week one. The Stallions were able to use a loaded tight end room to make up for his absence last year. I assume that is what they will do again in 2024.

WR Chris Lacy

The Stallions’ wide receiver room is loaded with talent, so we knew they would have to let a good player walk. In this case, it ended up being Lacy. Lacy was a late addition to the roster and is a little bit older than some of the other receivers. He has size that many of the Stallions’ receivers lack, but the Stallions must have felt they could make up for that in other ways.

C Josh Sokol

The Stallions brought back both of their centers from 2023 (Cohl Cabral and Cole Schneider)—both of whom were signed to NFL teams after last season. That was some stiff competition for Sokol, the newcomer in the group. The Stallions decided to stick with the known entities.

OG Calvin Ashley

This was probably the biggest shock. Ashley, the former Auburn Tiger, was an All-USFL offensive lineman last season for New Jersey. Many thought he would be a starter for the Stallions in 2024. However, for whatever reason, the Stallion chose to move on from him. I expect him to get picked up by another team as offensive linemen are at a premium in this league.

OT Larnel Coleman

The Stallions drafted Coleman in the UFL Super Draft. As a late addition, he may have had his back against the wall to make the team. The Stallions chose to stick with players from last season as well as some bigger names they signed in the offseason.

DE Hercules Mata’Afa

This is another shock for me. Mata’Afa has been one of the best defensive linemen in the USFL for the past two years. Last season, he had the highest PFF grade out of all EDGE players. The Stallions’ defensive ends were insanely loaded, so whoever got released was going to be a surprise. But I did not expect Mata’Afa to be one of the first to go.

DE Curtis Weaver

Weaver was a player I was looking forward to watching. A former fifth-round draft pick out of Boise State, Weaver holds the Mountain West Conference record for career sacks. However, for whatever reason, the Stallions chose to stick with some of the other talented players they had at the position.

DE Owen Carney

Carney was another late addition to the roster. So it did not come as a major surprise that he was released. The former Illinois standout will hopefully get another opportunity elsewhere.

DT Caleb Sampson

Like Carney, Sampson was also a late addition to the team. He lacks the experience that the other defensive linemen the Stallions kept have. Hopefully, he will also get another shot in the UFL or a different league.

LB Travin Howard

The linebacker room is maybe the Stallions’ best position group. So it was going to be interesting to see who they let go from among them. Howard would not have been my first guess. The former Los Angeles Ram and Super Bowl Champion is a talented player many thought could be a difference maker for the Stallions in 2024. Sadly, we won’t get to see him this year.

CB Channing Stribling

The second former All-USFL player the Stallions let go. However, unlike Ashley, Stribling’s stock was not exactly rising. He struggled to replicate the success he had in 2022 during last season and battled injuries. He is getting older too at 29 years of age. The Stallions were aggressive in adding talent to the cornerback spot this past offseason, and it surely made for a competitive camp. Unfortunately, Stribling ended up being an odd man out.

CB Terrell Bonds

Another former USFL player, Bonds was with the Maulers in 2022. He went to the XFL in 2023 but was not as successful in that league. The Stallions picked him up, but he was not able to beat out the stiff competition for a roster spot.

CB Mark Milton

Milton was a rookie out of Baylor looking to make a name for himself. He was someone I thought we would see during the season. General Manager Zach Potter spoke very highly of him in our interview before camp. Sadly, he was beaten out by the veterans. But I am sure this won’t be the last time we hear of him.

S T. J. Carter

Carter was another player I expected to see during the season. The Stallions moved on from most of their 2023 secondary except Lorenzo Burns and T. J. Carter. Given that fact, I thought Carter might be a lock to stick with the team. However, the safeties the Stallions brought in must have impressed in camp as the team decided to move on from Carter.

S James Wiggins

Wiggins most recently played for the Breakers. The Stallions added him in the USFL Dispersal Draft. However, before that, he had signed with the Edmonton Elks. He was released by the Elks to pursue a UFL opportunity. Sadly, that did not work out. But fortunately for Wiggins, the Elks were willing to take him right back after he was cut. It is great to already see at least one of these players land on their feet.

The Stallions had to release a lot of talented players, but that is how it goes in this business. The cuts are not over yet either. 8 more players will be let go in two weeks on March 23rd. Stay tuned to find out who makes the final roster and who is let go as the Stallions continue their quest to three-peat.

In other news, RB Bo Scarbrough retired last weekend before cuts were made, which freed up a roster spot for the team.

What are your thoughts on these cuts for the Birmingham Stallions? Which players should they bring back? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

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