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Nittany Lions In The NFL: Free Agency Roundup

It’s that time again, folks! The NFL’s offseason is in full swing now that free agency began over a week ago. Multiple Nittany Lions have signed on with new teams, while others wait patiently for a new opportunity.

Here’s a look at where some Penn Staters wound up in free agency’s wild first few days.

Stefen Wisniewski, Pittsburgh Steelers

Stefen Wisniewski signed a two-year, $2.85 million deal with the Steelers to return to Pittsburgh, his hometown.

The 2017 and 2019 Super Bowl champion will presumably step into a starting role on the Steelers’ offensive line after starting every game this past postseason with Kansas City.

Wisniewski has served as a model of consistency over his nine-year NFL career. The former Eagle was graded 70.0+ by Pro Football Focus (PFF) in seven out of his nine total seasons. Additionally, according to PFF, a grade of 70 or greater indicates that a player is performing at a starting-caliber level.

Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys

Sean Lee re-signed with the Cowboys on a one-year, $4.5 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Lee has spent his entire career in Dallas and racked up 782 total tackles, 60 for a loss, and 14 interceptions in the process. He’s been rather susceptible to injuries as of late, but he proved he’s still got something left in the tank after totaling 86 tackles last season.

Anthony Zettel, Minnesota Vikings

Anthony Zettel signed an undisclosed contract with the Vikings after spending last season with the Bengals and 49ers.

Zettel didn’t see much playing time in 2019 and appeared in a combined five games between Cincinnati and San Francisco.

The Nittany Lion’s career arguably peaked in 2016. During that season, he totaled 43 tackles, 11 for a loss, and 6.5 sacks. He hasn’t recorded a sack since then and subsequently bounced around with the Browns, Bengals, and Niners.

Jordan Lucas, Chicago Bears

Jordan Lucas signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Bears after spending the previous season with the Chiefs.

The Super Bowl LIV champion served as a depth piece during the Chiefs’ playoff run and will presumably serve a similar role with the Bears.

Lucas’ best season came in 2018 when he played in 16 games (four starts) for the Chiefs while totaling 32 tackles and an interception. Before his time in Kansas City, he spent two years down in Miami with the Dolphins.

Austin Johnson, New York Giants

The New York Giants signed Austin Johnson to a one-year contract, according to The Athletic‘s Dan Duggan. At this time, the financial aspect of Johnson’s deal isn’t publicly known.

Johnson spent the first four years of his career in Tennessee, totaling 83 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 58 games (13 starts), with the Titans. He’ll now reunite with his former position coach at Penn State, Sean Spencer, who joined New York in January.

Reuniting with Spencer should bode well for Johnson. In his final year in college, Johnson totaled 15 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks under Spencer’s guidance.

Grant Haley, New York Giants

Earlier in the offseason, Giants beat writer Jordan Raanan reported that New York re-signed Grant Haley to a one-year contract. According to overthecap.com, the deal is worth approximately $750,000.

Haley began last season as a starter, but his struggles in coverage relegated him to mostly special teams snaps. Despite that, he’s built up a reputation as a superb tackler and will certainly be a solid depth piece for the Giants.

In his two-year career in New York, Haley has totaled 76 tackles and two pass deflections in 26 games played (12 starts).

Trevor Williams, Philadelphia Eagles

Back in January, the Eagles signed Trevor Williams to a reserve/future contract.

Williams started 15 games in 2017 and totaled 56 tackles, 13 pass breakups, and two interceptions for the Chargers. He was ranked the 10th best cornerback by Pro Football Focus that year with an overall grade of 88.5.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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