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Former Packer Jace Sternberger earns USFL receiving TD crown

The former third-round NFL draft pick appears to be the top tight end in the league.

Birmingham Stallions v Memphis Showboats Photo by Justin Ford/USFL/Getty Images for USFL

Tight end Jace Sternberger is on his eighth football team since beginning his college football career, but the 26-year-old is back on the upswing after his 2023 regular season campaign in the USFL. After spending time at three different college programs, Sternberger — coming off of an All-American season at Texas A&M — was drafted in the third round by the Green Bay Packers, which Packers fans will almost certainly remember as the draft choice selected one slot ahead of Pro Bowl receiver Terry McLaurin.

Sternberger never worked out for Green Bay. He began his rookie season on the injured reserve, which led to him playing just six games in 2019. In 2020, Marcedes Lewis held down the blocking tight end role for the team while Robert Tonyan had his breakout season as a pass-catcher, bringing in 11 touchdowns through the air. Going into 2021, Sternberger found himself buried on the depth chart and would only dig himself into a bigger hole by earning a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Once his suspension expired, he was waived from the Packers that September.

Since then, Sternberger has signed with the practice squads of the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers and even signed with the Washington Football Team’s 53-man roster, but he hasn’t received any further action during the NFL regular season. If putting his game on film was a problem for Sternberger, that issue was solved this spring when he signed with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL.

At the conclusion of the USFL’s 10-week regular season, Sternberger posted a total of seven receiving touchdowns — which is two more than any other player in the league, regardless of position. Only two USFL players, both receivers, had more receiving yards than Sternberger during the regular season: former NFL first-round pick Corey Coleman and Sternberger’s Stallions teammate Davion Davis.

With the help of Sternberger and Davis, Birmingham posted a league-best 8-2 record in 2023 and won the south division of the USFL. You can tune in to the south division final, which features the best two records in the league, at 7 PM Eastern this Sunday on FOX to see if Sternberger’s squad can take one step closer to coming home with the USFL title. The team is coached by former Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz, who also won the inaugural USFL title last year with Birmingham.

Sternberger didn’t pan out as hoped by Packers fans, but he seems to be a force at the USFL level. Don’t be surprised if he ends up signing an NFL deal whenever the Stallions’ season officially comes to an end.