Once again, the New Jersey Generals are bringing back an important defensive piece. DE Hercules Mata’afa has officially re-signed for the 2024 USFL season, looking to strengthen a defensive line that continues to build upon quality talent.
Free Agent Signings:
• DE Hercules Mata’afa
— New Jersey Generals (@USFLGenerals) October 12, 2023
Hercules Mata’afa has had quite the career in the professional scene so far. Coming out of college, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings, and spent three years with the organization.
At Minnesota, Mata’afa impressed. Hercules had an excellent season in 2020, seeing action in 13 games. His 2020 campaign was by far his best in the NFL, finishing with 24 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
After his stint in the NFL, Hercules Mata’afa made his way to the USFL. He joined the New Jersey Generals in 2022, but did not see much playing time, posting only three tackles.
Sack! Hercules Mata’afa. 💪 pic.twitter.com/gmrzP4RH8X
— New Jersey Generals (@USFLGenerals) June 4, 2023
2023 told a different story. Hercules started in six of ten games, and made a major impact in the trenches for New Jersey. In 2023, he registered 24 tackles and six sacks, dominating up front.
One of his highlights came in week nine, against Philadelphia. As the game came to a close, Hercules forced a fumble on QB Case Cookus – and recovered it – effectively ending the affair.
HERCULES 👏 HERCULES 👏 HERCULES 👏 pic.twitter.com/ClPAzIyKSp
— New Jersey Generals (@USFLGenerals) June 12, 2023
While New Jersey struggled to make the postseason with a 3-7 record, their defense was one of the top units in the USFL, largely due to the efforts of playmakers like Mata’afa.
General Manager Billy Devaney has been busy this offseason. The organization has re-signed dozens of key players for 2024, most recently retaining All-USFL CB D.J. Daniels.
In addition, they were the first team to make a move in USFL…