WIth the NFL lockout finally coming to a halt and training camp just around the corner, the ordinary cycle of free agent signings is is finally underway. In a mad dash that usually begins right after the conclusion of the draft, teams are signing undrafted rookies with the thought of bringing them to training camp. Remember, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, the "signings" mean nothing unless these rookies actually make a 53 man roster. They do signify, however, that each of these young men will have a chance to go to a training camp and show their stuff. Each team also carries an 8 man practice squad, which provides additional opportunities for fringe NFL players. At around $80,000 for seventeen weeks of work, while it isn't NFL money, it probably beats your first job out of college.
Keep in mind, though, that each NFL camp will have 80 or so attendees, and all but a few spots on each team are spoken for. Still, a big day for these young men.
The following names are trickling in and all are being reported by several outlets.
1. Derrick Locke- Minnesota Vikings. I feel especially good for Derrick, who preformed well in the Senior Bowl and who many thought would be drafted. The Vikings are set in the every down back department, so maybe Locke can impress as a third down/special teams guy.
2. Mike Hartline- Indianapolis Colts. Hartline wouldn't seem like a good bet except that he has found a great situation. Curtis Painter is the only backup on the Colts' roster. Indianapolis may try to sign a veteran free agent with Peyton Manning coming off of surgery.
3. Chris Matthews- Cleveland Browns. From a physical standpoint, Matthews has all the tools to get a look.
4. DeQuin Evans- Cincinnati Bengals. Evans will reportedly be moved to OLB, where he'll have to scrap among a number of veterans and free agents to find a spot.
5. Ricky Lumpkin- Arizona Cardinals. Classy Cat gets his chance.