Birmingham Stallions Sign Free Agent DE Daniel Joseph

Birmingham Stallions Sign Free Agent DE Daniel Joseph

No USFL team has had their roster depleted this offseason like the two-time defending champions, the Birmingham Stallions. The Stallions have lost 16 players to the NFL and released another, reducing their roster by 17 total athletes (34%). General manager Zach Potter has his work cut out for him in trying to rebuild the Stallions roster to maintain their place atop the USFL.

Potter took a step forward in the rebuilding process this week when he signed defensive end Daniel Joseph.

Collegiate Career

Joseph (6’2, 260) is a nice pickup. A Canadian, he started his collegiate football career at Penn State. In three seasons there, he played in 32 games, registering 29 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, a pass deflection, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

He transferred to North Carolina State for his final two seasons of college football. He had his best years at NC State, producing 83 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles over 23 games.

Professional Career

As a Canadian, Joseph was actually the fourth overall pick in the 2021 Canadian Football League National Draft by the BC Lions. However, Joseph opted to stay and play in America instead. He graduated from NC State in 2022 and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills. However, he was cut at the end of preseason.

Joseph found a home in the XFL with the Seattle Sea Dragons. Joseph appeared in nine games for Seattle, registering eight tackles along with two tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. However, Joseph finished the season as a backup for the Sea Dragons. He will look for an opportunity to start in Birmingham.

Fit in Birmingham

Joseph is an intriguing signing. Defensive end is not exactly a pressing need for the Stallions. They have only lost one defensive lineman so far this offseason: defensive tackle Khalil Davis. They still have nine defensive linemen on the roster. Five of those nine are interior players, but that still leaves four edge players. However, there are questions about those four:

– Joe Jackson was moved to the “Suspended List” toward the end of the 2023 season, and it remains to be seen if he will be with the team in 2024 or not.

– Jonathan Newsome was placed on Injured Reserve late last season. Newsome will be 33 by the time next season rolls around. From interviews he has done, he seems to be nearing the end of his career and looking ahead to what is next. It is possible he retires as a two-time USFL champ. Regardless, he has yet to re-sign a contract with the Stallions, meaning he will become a free agent in October if nothing changes.

– Dondrea Tillman, the Stallions best defensive lineman, has yet to re-sign as well. Could he test the free agency waters once they hit in October?

– JoJo Ozougwu should be back with the Stallions in 2024. However, he had very little playing time in 2023.

Thus, despite the apparent depth at the edge position, the Stallions are thinner there than it may seem. This was evident in 2023. When Newsome went down, the Stallions opted to start defensive tackle Willie Henry at defensive end opposite Tillman.

Worst case for the Stallions, they could have had only one defensive end on the roster once October hit if they had not signed Joseph. Now, they will at least have him and Ozougwu even if they lose everyone else.

Zach Potter has had success dipping into the XFL player pool in the past. Davion Davis left the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL mid-season last year and joined the Stallions. Although he barely saw the field with the Roughnecks, Davis went on to become one of the best players, not only on the Stallions roster, but in the entire USFL, earning a spot with the Arizona Cardinals. The Stallions hope that Joseph can have that type of year in 2024.

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