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Pair of former Wildcats sign NFL futures contracts

Lynn Bowden Jr. will stay with the Patriots for now.

NFL: Miami Dolphins Training Camp Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have announced that they’ve signed Lynn Bowden Jr. to a futures contract. He spent the 2022 season on the practice squad with the Bill Belichick-led team, appearing in one game.

For a refresher, an NFL futures contract is the same as a regular active-roster contract but doesn’t take effect until the start of the new league year. Teams can sign players to futures contracts as soon as the previous regular season is over, but the contract won’t count against the salary cap or 53-man limit. Instead, it counts against the salary cap and 90-man camp limit of the following season.

The 25-year-old from Youngstown, Ohio was originally drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Las Vegas Raiders. He was traded to the Dolphins and played 10 games his rookie season, totaling 211 receiving yards and 32 rushing yards. He totaled 16 first downs as well.

Bowden Jr. was among the most versatile weapons in his draft class, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy and show that potential at the highest level.

That said, on top of Bowden Jr., the Cincinnati Bengals inked former Wildcats safety Yusuf Corker to a futures deal. The 6-foot Corker finished up his collegiate experience following the 2021 season, ending the year with 82 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, and a sack.

Corker was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in April of 2022, then was waived during final cuts in August. After clearing waivers, he was signed to the Bengals’ practice squad, where he spent the entire 2022 season but was never called up on gamedays.

The former Wildcat will now have a shot with the AFC runner-up Bengals heading into the 2023 NFL season.