Former Packers draft pick could return to the NFL this summer

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The NFL is paying close attention to the UFL. The Green Bay Packers missed out on signing kicker Jake Bates, who chose the division-rival Detroit Lions instead.

Performing well in the UFL can help former NFL players earn another opportunity in the league. Bates briefly spent time with the Houston Texans before becoming a standout kicker in the UFL. Former first-round pick Gareon Conley is back in the NFL after signing with the Dallas Cowboys.

Three former Packers made the first All-UFL team this summer, and one of them could soon make a return to the NFL.

Former Packers tight end Jace Sternberger is a player to watch in free agency

Considering their tight end depth, the Packers are unlikely to bring back 2019 third-round pick Jace Sternberger, but he deserves another opportunity after his performances this summer.

Sternberger earned All-UFL honors after catching 25 passes for 454 yards and four touchdowns for the Birmingham Stallions.

It was a similar story a year ago. Sternberger had a dominant season in the then-USFL, the league the Stallions played in before merging with the XFL this year. He helped them win the USFL championship in 2023 by leading the league in receiving touchdowns. It earned him an opportunity with the Buffalo Bills during training camp.

While Sternberger didn't make the Bills' 53-man roster, an NFL team should give him a chance this summer.

He is a former third-round pick, is still just 27 years old, and has receiving ability. Sternberger may not become a go-to target in the passing game, but he could add depth to just about any tight end room in the league.

Several UFL players have already signed deals with NFL teams. Sternberger is a player to watch in the days and weeks ahead, especially with training camp around the corner. He deserves another opportunity.

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