UFL Free Agency Roundup – Jan. 30 and Jan. 31

#40 Ryan Mueller - XFL Arlington Renegades 2023
#40 Ryan Mueller – XFL Arlington Renegades 2023

The following is a team-by-team recap of UFL free-agency signings from Jan. 30 and Jan. 31. 

Please note that this will not include players protected going into the Dispersal Draft process who have since “agreed to terms” with the UFL or players selected during one of the Dispersal Drafts who have since “agreed to terms” with the UFL – as these players have already been listed on their respective teams’ rosters and do not fit under the category of free-agent signings.

Arlington Renegades

  • WR Sy Barnett

Sy Barnett was initially selected by the Renegades during last year’s XFL Rookie Draft but went unclaimed during the Post-Merger Player Allocation Process. He now rejoins Arlington as a free agent. Barnett was a member of D-II national champion Ferris State in 2021 – recording 12 receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown in 12 games. As a graduate, he transferred to Davenport University in 2022, where he earned First-Team All-GLIAC honors for his performance during his final year of eligibility.

Outlook: Barnett comes from a D-II background but brings versatility and athleticism to the table in Arlington. He has experience as a wide receiver, return specialist, and placekicker from college.

San Antonio Brahmas

  • QB Tom Flacco
  • LB Ryan Mueller
  • K Donald De La Haye

Tom Flacco is the younger brother of Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco and was initially signed by the Houston Roughnecks before the XFL-USFL merger. In college, Flacco shined over two seasons at Towson as a graduate transfer from Rutgers – throwing for 6,352 yards and 50 touchdowns in 24 games. He was a Walter Payton Award finalist and All-CAA selection in both of his seasons with the Tigers. 

Fun Fact: Flacco was also a baseball player and got drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 32nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft – while still in high school. He was a member of the Towson baseball team in 2019 as the team’s starting right fielder.

Ryan Mueller was sent to the Vegas Vipers as part of the trade that gave Luis Perez to the Renegades last XFL season. His production as a depth piece at defensive end with both Arlington and Vegas was minimal. He was also with the New York Guardians of the 2020 XFL – recording 13 tackles and one interception in four games.

Donald De La Haye, a.k.a “Deestroying” with 5.2M subscribers on YouTube, was controversially banned by the NCAA for profiting off his YouTube channel in 2017 while at UCF. He was the Knights ‘ kickoff specialist during his underclassmen years before he got banned. Since then, he’s only had one professional football stint with the Toronto Argonauts on their practice roster in 2019. 

Outlooks: Flacco and Mueller both join crowded mixes at their respective positions in San Antonio. Meanwhile, while many are calling it a publicity stunt, we will see what De La Haye can do against Christopher Dunn out of North Carolina State in the Brahmas’ kicking competition during training camp. 

St. Louis Battlehawks

  • RB Wayne Gallman Jr.
  • CB Lavert Hill

Wayne Gallman Jr. was selected by the New York Giants with their fifth-round pick during the 2017 NFL Draft. His rookie campaign proved to be a productive one – seeing him total 111 carries for 476 yards in 13 games while sharing backfield duties. Over the next two seasons, his usage took a hit after the Giants drafted Saquon Barkley. In 2020, Gallman stepped up after Barkley went down with a season-ending injury – recording career-high figures across the board, with 147 carries for 682 yards and six touchdowns. Following this season, Gallman became a free agent and didn’t return to New York. 

Gallman left Clemson after three seasons as one of the most decorated running backs in program history – totaling 676 carries for 3,429 yards and 34 touchdowns in 42 games. He was part of the Tigers squad that won the National Championship in 2017.

Lavert Hill was an All-XFL cornerback with the Battlehawks last season – recording 25 tackles and two interceptions in 10 games. He departed the Battlehawks over the offseason for a stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers but was released after training camp. Before the XFL, Hill was a standout at the University of Michigan – earning back-to-back First-Team All-Big-Ten honors in 2018 and 2019 to close out his collegiate career. 

Outlooks: Gallman’s signing comes just days after it was reported that former Houston Roughnecks tailback Max Borghi will not be joining the Battlehawks in 2024. With Borghi out of the picture, Gallman can be St. Louis’ lead back. Meanwhile, Hill was a starter with the Battlehawks last season and will look to maintain that role this year. St. Louis has brought in some competition in the secondary, but his experience in the system certainly gives him an advantage.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.