Lapham joined the Generals along with LB Jim LeClaire in '84

Dave Lapham

New Jersey Generals 

Lapham says the USFL had a good thing going and should have stayed in the spring

After the '83 season in Cincinnati, Lapham, along with teammate LB LeClaire joined a Generals team that was filled with former NFL players: QB Brian Sipe, DB Gary Barbero, Willie Harper and LB  Leopold. “I thought the talent was real good; sometimes the depth wasn’t as strong as the NFL yet,” says Lapham.

Ironically, Harper, LeClaire, Leopold and Lapham all played in Super Bowl XVI two years earlier.

Not only were bona-fide veterans like Bills' running back Joe Cribbs jumping ship, but players that were considered “borderline” by NFL teams had a chance to prove themselves.

 “The USFL created a venue for players who were the last cuts in the NFL,” says Lapham, spent 10 years in the NFL before coming to New Jersey. “It just a numbers game; some of these players were damn good players, but they just got lost in the mix. There was a pool of guys that didn’t make it in the first go-around, but made it when they got a second shot.”