How ex-Jets are faring in the UFL - Season Recap

The first ever season of UFL action saw the Birmingham Stallions win the championship in dominant fashion as they shut out the San Antonio Brahmas 25-0.

This meant a championship for ex-Jets linebacker Maalik Hall and wide receiver Isaiah Zuber, although neither played a major role in their respective teams' success.

Teams have already started bringing in UFL players, including the Jets themselves, who added offensive lineman Kohl Levao.

Let's go position by position to review how other ex-Jets fared this season:



Running Backs

A member of the Jets' practice squad in 2018, Mark Thompson was just one behind the league leader with five rushing touchdowns. However, he only averaged 3.4 yards per carry and fumbled four times.

Tight Ends

In 2016, Braedon Bowman played three games for the Jets but he's been out of the NFL for a long time. He only had one catch in the second half of the season to finish with eight catches for 65 yards and two scores. Wes Saxton, who saw regular season action with the Jets in 2015, caught just one pass.

Wide Receivers

Deontay Burnett, who caught 10 passes as a Jet in 2018, had a solid year with 33 catches, which was good for ninth in the league. He averaged just 9.3 yards per catch but did score twice.

Recent Jet Vyncint Smith had a minimal impact until the final game of the season when he scored this touchdown. He had just five catches for 58 yards prior to that.

Zuber and KD Cannon didn't play a major role as Zuber caught just two passes for six yards and Cannon caught just one pass, although it was a 32-yarder.

Offensive Lineman

Derrick Kelly II made three starts in the first half of the season but didn't play after midseason because he was on injured reserve. Dru Samia started all year, though, and didn't give up a sack. He had just one penalty, seeing action at both guard spots.

Defensive Tackles

33-year old TJ Barnes showed he still has something left in the tank as he racked up 25 tackles, four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He was in the top-10 for pass rush grade per PFF. Freedom Akinmoladun did some good work against the run with 14 tackles and a tackle for loss.

Edge Defenders

While the league leader racked up 9.5 sacks, Pita Taumoepenu and Wyatt Ray were in the mix as Ray was 5th in the league with 5.5 and Taumoepenu was 10th with five. Taumoepenu ended up with 20 tackles and a forced fumble, while Ray had 24 tackles and six tackles for loss. Tim Ward ended up with with 15 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble but had just one tackle in the second half of the season.


Ex-Jet Noah Dawkins wasn't very productive in the second half of the season but ended up with 39 tackles, three tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups.

Javin White had a productive second half of the year to end up with 40 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks, but graded out poorly.

Defensive Backs

Having almost made the 2023 Jets, cornerback Jimmy Moreland was tied for the league lead with two forced fumbles. He added 38 tackles, a tackle for loss and two pass breakups.

Safety Kai Nacua was legitimately one of the league's best players as he was the only ex-Jet named to the all-UFL team. He was tied for the league lead in two categories with three interceptions and eight pass breakups. He added 48 tackles and two tackles for loss.

Special Teams

No ex-Jet has made an impact in the return game so far. Zuber, Cannon and Smith returned nine kickoffs between them but the longest return any of them had was 31 yards. Zuber also muffed a punt.

Kick coverage has been a different story, though.

White ended up with 11 special teams tackles, which is solid, but he dropped to sixth in the league having been leading the league with nine at midseason. That doesn't tell the full story, though, as he was taken off kick coverage for the last five games to play more on defense.

Smith also made a strong case for himself, playing as a gunner and in kick coverage. While he only had six special teams tackles, five of these came in the last three games, with three in the season finale alone.

Cornerback Nehemiah Shelton had six tackles, while wide receiver Jerome Kapp (best known for his Eminem impersonation on Hard Knocks) did a good job as a gunner, although he wasn't as productive down the stretch and ended up with eight special teams tackles.