NFL Free Agency 2019: Nittany Lions On The Move
The 2019 NFL Free Agency season, or as I like to call it, Adam Schefter tweet notifications SZN, kicked off on Wednesday. A number of Nittany Lions are on the move — they’re signing with new teams and moving on from their rookie contracts by cashing in big with lucrative deals.
These Penn Staters have been signed so far. We’ll continue to update the list as the league shakes out.
Cameron Wake: Tennessee Titans
The 37-year-old defensive end signed a three-year, $23-million deal with the Tennessee Titans after spending 10 seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
The five-time Pro Bowler is still performing at a high level as he enters the latter stages of his career. However, his numbers declined a tad last year, when he recorded six sacks, 36 tackles, and a forced fumble.
Adrian Amos: Green Bay Packers
The former Chicago Bears safety signed a four-year, $37-million deal with the Green Bay Packers coming off his rookie contract. The move is an interesting one for Amos, as he stays within the NFC North division and joins Green Bay, the Bears’ arch-rival. In true rivalry fashion, the Bears responded by signing former Packers first-round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to fill Amos’s position at safety.
Jesse James: Detroit Lions
The former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end signed a four-year, $25-million deal with the Detroit Lions. James is the third offensive weapon to leave the Steelers this offseason. Star running back Le’Veon Bell held out all of last season before signing with the New York Jets this offseason, and star receiver Antonio Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh after the season concluded with a trade to the Oakland Raiders.
At his first press conference as a Lion, James didn’t mince words about his previous team. He’s “glad to get away” from the Steelers’ drama-filled locker room, and he expressed his disappointment in his role with the offense.
Donovan Smith: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive tackle signed a three-year, $41.5 million contract extension with Tampa Bay, which is probably the most lucrative contract signed by a Penn Stater this offseason. Smith, a second-round draft pick in 2015, has proven to be a cornerstone of the offensive line as the second player in team history to start every single game during his first four seasons.
Ross Travis: Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts re-signed the tight end to a one-year deal after he missed the entirety of last season due to a torn ACL. Travis never actually played football for the Nittany Lions — he played basketball and led the team in rebounds in each of his last three seasons.
Though he hadn’t played football since his freshman year of high school, Travis signed with the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad during the 2015 season and has remained on an NFL roster since. He spent two seasons with the Chiefs before being waived and claimed by the Colts in November 2017.
Robbie Gould: San Francisco 49ers
Robbie Gould, who’s entering his 15th NFL season, was franchise tagged by the San Francisco 49ers and will earn the average salary of the top five highest-paid kickers in the NFL during the 2019 season. Gould is the second most accurate kicker in NFL history behind only Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens.
Gould’s job as the team’s starter may not necessarily be secure yet — the 49ers also signed fellow kicker Jonathan Brown, who will presumably compete with Gould for the starting job at training camp.
While many Nittany Lions have secured their bags already, there are others who are still without a home for the 2019 NFL Season.
Offensive tackles Stefen Wisniewski and Garry Gilliam, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, respectively, haven’t been picked up yet. Linebackers Mike Hull, Gerald Hodges, and Nate Stupar, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Giants, also remain unsigned.
Penn State lacrosse’s Chris Hogan is also a free agent this season after winning a pair of Super Bowls as a wide receiver for the New England Patriots.
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