This is a massive re-signing for New Jersey, and one that came at an unexpected time. Toby Johnson entered USFL Free Agency on October 1st, and was originally slated to remain a free agent until we got more clarity on the USFL-XFL merger.
Now, one of the top free agents is off the market. The Generals get to keep their All-USFL star, as Toby Johnson will once again play a major role in this defense heading into 2024.
For two straight seasons, Toby Johnson has earned All-USFL honors as a defensive tackle. In 2022, he was outstanding, posting 35 tackles, two sacks, and an interception as the Generals dominated their way to a 9-1 record and postseason berth.
Just want to thank the @USFL and the @USFLGenerals for giving me a opportunity to showcase my talents this year. I’m grateful for all the relationships I made and the lifelong memories.
While 2023 didn’t go exactly as planned for New Jersey, Johnson was as consistent as can be. Toby finished the year with 42 tackles, four TFL, and 3.5 sacks. He started in all ten games for the Generals, proving to be a much-needed force in the trenches.
Despite the overall struggles the Generals faced this year, they did boast one of the top defensive lines in the USFL. Toby Johnson, Hercules Mata’afa, Tyshun Render, etc. all performed at a high level in 2023, and each are set to return for 2024.
Spring football is nothing new for Johnson. He played for the New York Guardians back in the XFL’s 2020 season. In addition, he has plenty of NFL experience with several organizations, including the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars.
For a full breakdown of Toby’s professional career, check out this feature piece we did on his story earlier this summer.
Billy Devaney, Sheldon Dawson, Ted Cotrell, and the rest of the Generals franchise can rejoice, knowing that Toby Johnson is back in action for 2024.
The team just re-signed two other key defensive pieces this week, in DE Hercules Mata’afa and CB D.J. Daniel. So far, they have brought back almost 20 players from 2022-2023.
In addition, they were the first team to make a move in USFL free agency, signing three players from other organizations.
Word on the street is that free agent DT John Atkins – who was an All-USFL athlete with the Memphis Showboats – wants to team up with Toby this season. Time will tell if he ends up signing to New Jersey, but it’s certainly a storyline to watch closely.
What are your thoughts on Toby Johnson returning to New Jersey? Which USFL prospects should they pursue next? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!