On Thursday, the Birmingham Stallions and Philadelphia Stars negotiated a big-time trade, the first of the USFL offseason. Both teams swapped two players, with the Stallions giving up two offensive linemen, as the Stars sent off two defenders.
Traded from Birmingham:
• OG Gray Davis, Colorado State • OT Ryan Pope, San Diego State
In addition, he was a standout safety for the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL’s 2020 season. He finished that year with 28 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack in only five games. In 2019, Brown notched 40 tackles and an interception for the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions.
Considering Tyree Robinson is unlikely to return for 2024, acquiring Cody Brown is an outstanding pickup for Zach Potter, Skip Holtz, and the Birmingham Stallions.
DT Marvin Wilson
Marvin Wilson is certainly going to make his presence known in the trenches this season. Wilson played his college ball at Florida State, racking up 110 tackles, 15 TFL, and 9.5 sacks across four years.
The Philadelphia Stars originally signed Wilson, but included him in the package to Birmingham. Wilson brings plenty of professional experience to the team, having played for the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles from 2020-2022. He was released by the Eagles this year.
In his limited minutes in the NFL, Marvin made the most of the opportunity. He tallied seven tackles across two games with the Eagles.
The Philadelphia Stars were a very talented team in 2023, but weren’t able to put all the pieces together. In all honesty, it was their offensive line struggles that played a major role in the team missing the postseason.
This trade addresses that area. Birmingham sent OG Gray Davis and OT Ryan Pope over to the Stars – two linemen who are very capable of playing high quality football in this scene.
Ryan Pope has won back-to-back championships with the Stallions, and even had a stint with the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL during the year. Pope was a key piece to Birmingham’s line in 2022, and will bring plenty of winning experience to Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, Gray Davis was a brand new signing to the Stallions this offseason. He started in all 12 games at guard for CSU during his final year of eligibility.
General Manager Michael Woods has been making things happen for Philadelphia since the season ended. The team has signed several free agents, including defensive backs who could serve as replacements for Brown (i.e. Daniel Isom, David Vereen).
It has been a while since we’ve seen a trade of this magnitude in the spring football scene. The USFL has not had an official trade all year long, so this came as a surprise to many.
For Birmingham, they are still in excellent shape with their offensive line. The Stallions are loaded at the position, and just re-signed Matt Kaskey fresh off an NFL stint with the Los Angeles Chargers.
As the USFL-XFL merger nears its closure, the excitement in the air is as high as ever with blockbuster trades like these going down.
What are your thoughts on Cody Brown and Marvin Wilson joining the Birmingham Stallions? Will Gray Davis and Ryan Pope start for the Philadelphia Stars next year? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!