Former Mountaineers Finding New NFL Homes
Certainly nothing is normal in the world today, but business does continue in some aspects, including in the NFL.
The pro football league is limited in many regards because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but it is moving forward with free agent signings. The period in which unrestricted free agents could sign with new teams began on March 18.
For some former Mountaineers that means new contracts, while others, who saw their deals end at the 2019 season, are still searching new agreements.
Nine former West Virginia players entered this offseason as unrestricted free agents, and four of those have agreed to contracts with new teams.
• Bruce Irvin (DE, 8-year NFL veteran) has agreed to a contract with the Seattle Seahawks, which was the team that drafted him in the first round in 2012. Irvin had played with four different teams in his previous eight years in the NFL – Seattle (2012-15, Oaklaand (2016-18), Atlanta (2018) and Carolina (2019).
• Karl Joseph (DB, 4-year NFL veteran), who spent the first four years of his career with the Raiders, has signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Brown.
• Nick Kwiatkoski (LB, 4-year NFL veteran) has signed a three-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders worth a reported total of $21 million. A fourth-round draft choice by the Chicago Bears in 2016, Kwiatkoski spent the past four years as a special teams stalwart and productive backup in Chicago, but is being paid starter money to come to the Raiders.
• Quinton Spain (OL, 5-year NFL veteran) signed a three-year contract worth a reported $15 million to remain with the Buffalo Bills. Spain made the Tennessee Titans roster as an undrafted free agent rookie in 2015 and spent four years in Tennessee before he signed a one-year deal with Buffalo prior the 2019 season. He started 16 games for the Bills last season and decided to remain in Buffalo with his new three-year deal.
Other former Mountaineers who are unrestricted free agents:
• Tavon Austin (WR, 7-year NFL veteran) spent last season with Dallas
• Najee Goode (LB, 8-year NFL veteran) spent last season with Jacksonville
• Wendell Smallwood (RB, 4-year NFL veteran) spent last season with Washington
• Geno Smith (QB, 7-year NFL veteran) spent last season with Seattle
• Daryl Worley (DB, 4-year NFL veteran) spent last season with Oakland
Those five unrestricted free agents are capable of signing new contracts with their past teams or new ones. There are another dozen former Mountaineers who currently are under contract with NFL clubs.
• Yodny Cajuste (OL, 1-year NFL veteran) signed with New England through 2022
• Dravon Askew-Henry (DB, no active NFL seasons yet) signed with the New York Giants through 2022
• Rasul Douglas (DB, 3-year NFL veteran) signed with Philadelphia through 2020
• Shelton Gibson (3-year NFL veteran) signed with Philadelphia through 2020
• Mark Glowinski (OL, 5-year NFL veteran) signed with Indianapolis through 2021
• Will Grier (QB, 1-year NFL veteran) signed with Carolina through 2022
• Gary Jennings (WR, 1-year NFL veteran) signed with Miami through 2022
• David Long (LB, 1-year NFL veteran) signed with Tennessee through 2022
• Adam Pankey (OL, 3-year NFL veteran) signed with Miami through 2020
• David Sills (WR, 1-year NFL veteran) signed with the N.Y. Giants through 2020
• Elijah Wellman (FB, no active NFL seasons yet) signed with Green Bay through 2020
• Trevon Wesco (TE, 1-year NFL veteran) signed with the N.Y. Jets through 2022
• Kyzir White (LB, 2-year NFL veteran) signed with the L.A. Chargers through 2021