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  • Writer's pictureAce

Gamblers Free Agency Strategy

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Free agency in the USFL has been a bit of a mystery so far. Last night in my Gamblers Table Talk twitter space I was able to get a bit of clarity about the way things are going. My guest was the Gamblers Director of Player Personnel (DPP), Robert Morris. He was nice enough to explain a bit about how free agency works for the USFL, and what the Gamblers strategy is with their signings.

Coach Morris explained that for the time being, the free agency is wide open for the USFL. Any players who don't have a contract with another league already in place can sign a USFL contract right now and join the blossoming spring league. He went on to say that the players from season one of the USFL that were signed to NFL practice squads can still come back to the USFL when the NFL season concludes. The entire offseason is a very fluid process with the NFL and other spring leagues all pulling for players.

A wildly interesting behind the scenes look that Coach Mo gave us was about the USFL scouting during NFL training camps. There is a DPP for each USFL team, so 8 total, and there are 32 NFL teams. Each DPP took 4 NFL teams and traveled to their training camps to evaluate talent that may not make the 53 man roster or practice squad. Coach Mo traveled to scout the Cowboys, Texans, Raiders, and Cardinals. He assured us that he is waiting a few weeks into the NFL season to reach out to players who were released from NFL teams as to give them some time to gather themselves and settle mentally. He made no mention of the draft and how free agency affects it, so that remains a mystery.

The Gamblers had been a quieter team this offseason compared to teams like the Generals and Panthers. The past two weeks we saw that change as two fresh young signings were added to the roster, Joshua Moore out of the University of Texas, and Dion Novil out of the University of North Texas. It was exciting to see that both of the new players were from the great state of Texas, but we learned that this was no coincidence. Before getting into the method in the madness, lets talk about the signings.

The first move we saw the Gamblers make was to pick up former UT wide receiver Joshua Moore. To Josh's surprise, I asked for an interview once hearing the news. He hadn't gotten his USFL application back, so he didn't know that he was a Gambler yet! The young receiver is a great young guy who is going to make his money with his speed and physicality. While he isn't the biggest and strongest receiver, he proved at UT that he was not afraid of going up and getting the ball in traffic. Robert Morris explained that UT ran an offense very close to what the Gamblers are running, so Joshua is a no brainer. Home grown from Yoakum Texas, he should be a Gambler fan favorite in no time.

The second pickup that the Gamblers snatched up was Dion Novil out of North Texas. Watching Novils's highlights feels like watching a young Domenique Davis. He is quick with his feet, uses his hands well, and reads the run beautifully. The young defensive tackle is only in his first year out of college. He is a raw talent that could be the answer to the Gamblers losses to the NFL in their defensive line.

Both of these new singings were added with a goal in the mind, to bring young talent from Texas that fits the roles already in place. Joshua Moore is very similar to Isaiah Zuber in the routes and physicality that he brings on the outside. Dion Novil is a large presence in the middle of the defensive line that moves faster than a man his size should, much like Tomasi Laulile and Domenique Davis. Coach Mo also explained that having players from Texas was a goal of his. Playing for a team that represents Houston means just a bit more to someone from an area near to Houston than it would to someone from out of state. He said that it makes it easier for players to buy in and eventually easier to coach. I also imagine that it was easier for Coach Mo to go meet with these guys in person when they live only a few hours from him. All together, we learned that there was a large group of variables that had to be correct for these two players to be chosen.

Coach said that he didn't want to jinx anything, but there are a couple guys that we should see getting signed soon barring anything unforeseen happening in the next week or so. Could one of these guys be a new quarterback?

What do you think about the Gamblers offseason so far? Join the official USFL discord and come tell me your thoughts!


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