Memphis Showboats Make Final Cuts In UFL Training Camp | Ryan McDaniel

Memphis Showboats Make Final Cuts In UFL Training Camp

And last, but certainly not least, the Memphis Showboats finalized their UFL roster today. The team has made the final cuts necessary to get to 50, leading to more tough decisions for John DeFilippo & Co. this weekend.

Head Coach John DeFilippo spoke to the media today on the process of making these cuts. It was by no means easy, and was even more difficult than the last go around.

“It was way harder to make these decisions. All eight of these players would have been on my team last year (New Orleans). And we were darn good. This was way harder. We let a lot of good guys go.”

With the roster as it currently stands, though, DeFilippo is pleased with the outlook of this team. The Showboats have a lot to prove this season, and are aiming to dethrone the mighty Birmingham Stallions, one game at a time.

“The amount of time that it took us to get to 50 goes to show how good we drafted. We’re pleased with where we are right now. Now, we have to make that into fruition in terms of winning football games. We’ve been evaluating all camp long, now it’s time to turn it into game plan mode.”

Offensive Cuts

WR Rashard Davis
WR Ryan McDaniel
TE Cam Sutton
TE Dominique Dafney
OG Chance Lytle

Right off the bat, the team cut two receivers who have been very productive in the USFL. Rashard Davis tore his ACL early on last year, which cut his season short – but prior to that, he was a top target when the team was in Tampa Bay. Ryan McDaniel was a fan favorite last year as well, who made one of the most ridiculous catches you will ever see live:

Simply put, Memphis loaded up on wide receivers this offseason. With the additions of guys like Daewood Davis and Jonathan Adams, there’s limited room left for other targets.

Speaking of limited room, the Showboats had five tight ends on the roster with 58 players left. Clearly, they couldn’t keep them all. Cam Sutton and Dominique Dafney both made their way to Memphis during UFL Training Camp – and while both are quite talented in their own regard, they ultimately did not make the final cut.

It’s unfortunate to see Chance Lytle go, as he was an offseason addition. Lytle’s departure means that Memphis only rosters two true guards, in Terrone Prescod and Leka Uhatafe.

Defensive Cuts

LB Shaheed Salmon
DB D.J. Daniel
DB Tye Smith

The most surprising release in this batch is former All-USFL DB D.J. Daniel. Daniel played for the New Jersey Generals, making a major leap in 2023 as he finished with 30 tackles and three interceptions, earning All-USFL honors last year. D.J. is certainly one who will get looked at by other UFL teams.

DeFilippo made it clear that they would love to have Daniel back. This cut, in particular, was very difficult to make:

“That was a hard one. It was very difficult. It took a lot of time. We weighed a lot of options, and looked at a lot of strengths and weaknesses of the guys in that locker room. DJ knows how I feel about him…it was this close. If we have a shoestring broken in that room, I told DJ to ‘be ready’.”

Shaheed Salmon is a spring football veteran, and had come over from New Orleans with Coach DeFilippo during the dispersal process. Tye Smith was someone many projected to make this roster, given the amount of NFL experience under his belt. He was with the XFL’s Orlando Guardians last year, making four starts and posting 25 tackles.

Final Thoughts

The Memphis Showboats are now locked and loaded for their UFL opener on March 31st against the Houston Roughnecks. With a new General Manager in Dennis Polian, and the acquired leadership of John DeFilippo, fans will be looking at a largely revised roster in 2024.

Something worth noting is that Coach DeFilippo said that the plan is to stick with this 50 heading into the season. They are not expecting to make any waiver claims at the moment.

What are your thoughts on these cuts for the Memphis Showboats? Will they bring any of these players back? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!