Ex-Bills Player With Unusual Tenure Now Leads USFL in Receiving

Corey Coleman

Getty Corey Coleman warms up before an NFL game.

A former Buffalo Bills player who had a short but notable tenure with the team has now found a second home in the USFL.

Corey Coleman, who came to the Bills in a 2018 trade but was released less than a month later, joined the Philadelphia Stars and leads the USFL in receiving yards through the first eight games of the season. Coleman had a turbulent NFL tenure, joining the Cleveland Browns as a first-round pick but struggling with injuries and ultimately only appearing in 27 total games over three years.

But Coleman’s standout performance has now generated NFL buzz again.

Corey Coleman’s Hot Season

Coleman has been a top target for the Stars this season, making 38 catches for a league-best 516 yards with three touchdowns.

Coleman is now on pace to set the single-season receiving record in the renewed iteration of the USFL. The record was set last year by KaVontae Turpin, who had 540 yards and four touchdowns in the league’s inaugural season.

Turpin was among a handful of USFL players to sign with NFL teams, a group that Coleman could now attempt to join. Another former Bills player — Victor Bolden Jr., who joined later on in the 2018 season — earned a spot on last season’s All-USFL Team as a wide receiver and kick returner and was later named MVP of the championship game. He spent time on practice squads of the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos in 2022.

The football comeback is another chapter in a turbulent football career that saw Coleman win the Biletnikoff Award winner for best college receiver in 2015. Coleman set records in his final season at Baylor, making 74 catches for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns.

The Cleveland Browns ended up trading up to take Coleman with the No. 15 pick in the NFL Draft, but he suffered a broken hand during practice and ended his rookie year with just 413 yards and three touchdowns.

Coleman broke the same hand the next season, and requested a trade from the Browns before the 2018 season. The Bills saw enough value in Coleman to use a seventh-round draft pick to land him in a trade that August, but he failed to make much of an impression during his brief time with the team and the Bills released Coleman before the season began.

Coleman went on to sign with the New York Giants, but made only five catches for 71 yards in his eight games that season. While he spent the next few seasons bouncing around practice squads and including part of the 2022 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, Coleman never appeared in another NFL game after 2018.

Second Chance in USFL

Coleman said he is grateful for the second chance that the USFL afforded him, telling Fox Sports that he is impressed with the level of talent around the league.

“There is some talent in the USFL,” Coleman said. “There are some guys that can really ball.”

Coleman added that he is appreciative of the Stars’ organization for showing faith in his abilities despite a long layoff from the sport.

“I just really want to give thanks to them for giving me a chance,” Coleman said. “They gave me the opportunity to come in here and really show that I can still play this game at a high level.”

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