Pita Taumoepenu Named 2023 XFL Defensive Player of the Year | St. Louis Battlehawks

St. Louis Battlehawks Acquire XFL Star DE Pita Taumoepenu

Spring football teams have been making major moves the last two weeks. The St. Louis Battlehawks have acquired DE Pita Taumoepenu ahead of the dispersal draft, first reported by insider Mike Mitchell.

Pita Taumoepenu is a massive addition for St. Louis. Pita spent the 2023 XFL season with the Vegas Vipers, where he earned XFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Taumoepenu finished the 2023 season with:

26 tackles
7.5 sacks (2nd)
8 TFL
4 forced fumbles (1st)

Despite the Vegas Vipers struggles to win football games, Pita was about as consistent as could be throughout the year. The Vipers had an underrated defensive unit, as players like Taumoepenu impressed week in and week out.

Following his XFL campaign, Pita was signed by the New York Jets. He spent training camp and preseason with the team, and did quite well. Unfortunately, he did not make the final roster cuts, and was released without having an opportunity on the practice squad.

This resulted in Pita becoming a free agent. Obviously, the Vegas Vipers are not a part of the new league. Anthony Becht has now acquired one of the top defensive playmakers on the market, strengthening the Battlehawks defensive unit for 2024.

Final Thoughts

As it stands, the St. Louis Battlehawks will be one of four XFL teams to survive the USFL-XFL merger. The team has been very active in the offseason, signing dozens of free agents to Letters Of Intent since October.

What are your thoughts on Pita Taumoepenu heading to the St. Louis Battlehawks? Which prospects should the team pursue? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!