Arguably the biggest signing of this bunch is wide receiver Joe Walker, who has spent the last two seasons in the USFL with Michigan.
Joe burst onto the scene in 2022, serving as a reliable offensive target despite dealing with quarterback inconsistencies. In fact, Walker caught passes from four different signal callers during that season. Regardless, he was impressive, posting 318 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
During a 2023 campaign that resulted in a postseason berth, Joe Walker was electrifying. He finished the year with 508 receiving yards and three touchdowns, starting in nine out of ten games for the Panthers. Additionally, he was the team’s leading receiver.
Outside of a few drops during the middle of the season, Walker was a steady force for Michigan in 2023, playing a major role in their playoff appearance.
Now, he will join the New Jersey Generals who could use some assistance at the wide receiver position. The team recently released Warren Newman and Cam Echols-Luper, so Walker joining the fray is much needed. Joe will also be reuniting with former Michigan QB Eric Barriere.
DL Ethan Westbrooks | Michigan Panthers
Ethan Westbrooks began his USFL career with the Pittsburgh Maulers. He played with the team for several weeks, posting six tackles and two sacks.
Ethan Westbrooks has been all over the QB in the first half 😤😳
Surprisingly, he was released on May 28th, 2022. The Michigan Panthers quickly picked him up, and Westbrooks got right to work. Ethan finished the 2022 season with twelve tackles, and four sacks across two franchises.
In 2023, Ethan Westbrooks served as a rotational piece on a stacked defensive line in Michigan. He started in seven of nine games played for the team, registering 12 tackles and a sack en route to a postseason berth.
Not only is Westbrooks a quality athlete on the field, but also off the field. Ethan earned USFL Sportsman of the Year honors for his community service in Michigan.
Antonio Reed joins the New Jersey Generals secondary as a reliable weapon from the Memphis Showboats. Reed has played for Tampa Bay/Memphis throughout the last two USFL seasons, shining in both.
Antonio finished the 2022 season with 29 tackles, making an impact for a Bandits team that struggled to find a rhythm throughout the year.
In 2023, Antonio Reed played a major role in reviving the Showboats defense. After a rough few weeks early on, Memphis turned things around and dominated during a five game win streak. Reed started in five of seven games played, compiling 29 tackles and an interception that came in week eight against these very Generals.
Now, Antonio will continue his USFL career in New Jersey. With high end safeties such as Shalom Luani and Paris Ford already on the roster, expect Reed to fit right in as a solid rotational piece.
The New Jersey Generals have officially made history, being the first team to sign athletes within this unique USFL free agency period. After a 3-7 record in 2023, General Manager Billy Devaney will look to add key pieces to get this team back to the postseason.
With USFL free agency fully underway, we can certainly expect to see more players jump around from team to team in the coming days and weeks.
What are your thoughts on Joe Walker fitting into New Jersey’s offense? Will Ethan Westbrooks and Antonio Reed benefit the defense? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!