The Birmingham Stallions dismemberment has begun! We have seen four skill position players inking NFL deals in the past few days, with the likes of Jace Sternberger, Davion Davis, Deon Cain, and Austin Watkins. I will break down their contracts and my opinions on the best possible way to make their respective rosters.
The Buffalo Bills signed former Birmingham Stallions TE Jace Sternberger to a 1yr-$1,010,000 deal. Jace’s contract has no money guaranteed, he has such a high contract number for a spring league player due to having three accrued seasons, so this is still technically a vet minimum deal.
BREAKING: Stallions TE Jace Sternberger signed a 1-yr $1,010,000 contract with the Buffalo Bills. Per https://t.co/NP8RJWkdEB
This is the first million / year deal we have seen from the 2023 USFL season.
The Bills currently have five tight-ends on roster, including probable starter rookie first rounder Dalton Kincaid, and backup Dawson Knox, so Jace will need to fight for that third tight end spot, and have a very strong camp and preseason. The bridge shouldn’t be hard to gap for the former 3rd round pick, as he has played at the highest level before with the Green Bay Packers.
Jace showed his highest potential with the Birmingham Stallions this year, and I am certain he will stick around for the season and be up for extension next year. Jace is an athletic freak with plenty of upside.
The Arizona Cardinals signed Davion Davis to a 1yr- $1,010,000 deal, Similar to Jace’s contract, this deal has no money guaranteed, but unlike Jace’s, Davion signed for above the league minimum, due to not having any years accrued. This means a huge pay day for Davion if he can make the final 53 man roster.
BREAKING: Former Stallions WR Davion Davis has signed a 1-yr $1,010,000 deal with the Arizona Cardinals, per https://t.co/dcD1nSGPYV
Davion was not the only USFL receiver that the Cardinals brought in, as they also brought in Michigan Panthers WR/KR Kaden Davis, who Davion will undoubtedly be fighting for a roster spot against. I think it goes to show that the Cardinals like what they see in Davion to offer him a contract so much above the minimum deal.
Davion racked up 705 yards and 7 touchdowns over 12 games and was one of the most consistent contributors for the Stallions. They would not have made the Championship without his work and grit. He is one of those guys you want to have on your team, no matter where you put him. He can contribute.
Deon Cain signed a 1yr-$870,000 deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, with no money guaranteed. It would seem this deal is a vet minimum with 1 year accrued deal as well, which is typical for most USFL – NFL players.
BREAKING: Birmingham Stallions WR Deon Cain signed a 1yr, $870,000 deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, per https://t.co/NP8RJWkdEB
Deon is no stranger to the Eagles roster, as he was a member of their team from 2021-2022. Deon has also spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers, on both teams he has had some playing time in. Deon joins relatively thin WR room (for this time of year) with 11 other receivers, he will need to make plenty of splashes in pre season and training camp. He will be able to take advantage of a recent NFL rule change which makes all roster cutdowns happen on August 29th, so he can have an entire camp to prove his worth.
Deon will definitely have his time to shine, and with less competition in the WR room it just proves that the eagles seem to think they are fine the way they are. If Deon can capitalize on this opportunity, we may never see him back in spring football ever again.
Here we have another Birmingham Stallion in Austin Watkins signing his contract with the Cleveland Browns and joins a crowded WR room, which currently sits at 14 WR’s. Thankfully, we shouldn’t have to wait long to see Watkins play, as the Cleveland Browns play in the Hall of Fame game on August 3rd at 8pm ET.
Austin Watkins signed a 1yr-$750,000 deal with the Browns this past Saturday. The deal is a 2023 NFL veteran minimum, which is a commonplace deal for USFL to NFL players. Watkins deal has no guaranteed money, which means there is no cap casualty if he ends up being one of the unfortunate players that doesn’t survive camp cuts, fortunately, NFL owners approved a new rule to keep rosters at 90 players and have a final cut down to 53 on August 29th, so Watkins will be able to take advantage of an entire training camp to prove his worth to the Browns.
Stallion fans may recognize Austin Watkins immediately, and that’s probably because his most note-worthy play of the 2023 USFL season was on the Stallions first offensive play of the season, when Quarterback J’mar Smith launched a beautiful 61 yard touchdown pass to Watkins, who made an incredible grab and fell into the endzone. Watkins may have had a relatively quiet season after that game, but don’t let that fool you, the play of fellow WR Davion Davis and TE Jace Sternberger was the commanding tone of that Championship Stallions offense. Watkins brings big play ability to the Browns offense, with great straight line speed and height. Watkins will need to show out early and often for the Browns to prove his worth in that crowded WR room, but I am certain that he will find a place in their offense.
After a wild beginning of the week, with dozens of workouts and signings, it’s great to see many of these work out in the favor of these players, signing above the minimum deals and continuing to prove that spring football works!
What are thoughts on these NFL contracts for USFL to NFL athletes from the Birmingham Stallions? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!