USFL Linebacker Signs with The Monsters of the Midway
On Friday, August 5, former Birmingham Stallions linebacker Demarquis Gates signed a one-year $750,000 contract with the Chicago Bears.
Gates becomes the sixth Stallions player to get signed on a one-year deal with an NFL team. Last year in the USFL, Gates led all Stallions linebackers with 62 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, and one interception. He also had nine tackles and two passes defended which helped the Stallions win the 2022 USFL Championship over the Philadelphia Stars.
This is not Gates's first time in the NFL though. During his time at The University of Mississippi, he had 249 tackles (114 of them coming in 2017), nine sacks, and became the first Ole Miss player since Patrick Willis to have 100 tackles in a full season. Gates went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft before getting picked up by the Cleveland Browns off waivers.
Gates lasted only a month with the Browns before getting released in June of 2018. After not getting picked up by any other teams, Gates decided to join the Alliance of American Football League's (AAF) Memphis Express team, where he had 52 total tackles and five forced fumbles.
Gates joined the Houston Roughnecks of the revived XFL after the short tenure of the AAF. He led the Roughneck defense with 32 tackles and two sacks.
The Ga., native bounced around the CFL for two years before coach Skip Holtz picked up Gates in the USFL Draft to play linebacker for the Birmingham Stallions.
Gates joins a Bears team that is in the midst of a rebuild. After bringing in Mike Eberflus (who was previously the Colts defensive cordinator) to be there next head coach, the Bears are trying to build defenses that make teams fear. Gates will be fighting for a spot on the Bears roster because Chicago has a deep linebacker room with guys like Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn leading the way.