Four Tigers sign free agent contracts with NFL teams

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Clemson, SC—Clemson had five players drafted and four who have signed free agent contracts with NFL teams. The NFL draft took place April 22-24 and players began signing free agent contracts on April 25.

The parade of former Tigers who were drafted began on Thursday night when unanimous All-America running back C.J. Spiller was selected in the first round with the ninth overall selection by the Buffalo Bills. On Saturday, Jacoby Ford, Ricky Sapp, Crezdon Butler and Kavell Conner were all selected in rounds four thru seven.

Since the draft, four Tigers have signed free agent contracts. All-ACC tight end Michael Palmer signed with the Atlanta Falcons, All-America guard Thomas Austin signed with the Minnesota Vikings, cornerback Chris Chancellor with the Cleveland Browns and defensive end Kevin Alexander with the Denver Broncos. Senior Rendrick Taylor was expected to sign a free agent contract, but it was not known as of this writing.

Clemson has had 44 players over the years who have gone on to play in the NFL after signing a free agent contract, including 2008 receiver Tyler Grisham, who played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. Jeff Bostic, the only former Clemson player to win three Super Bowl Championship rings, was a free agent after his career as a Clemson center.

Clemson had five players selected in the NFL draft, tied for the 11th highest total in the nation and tied for first in the ACC with Virginia Tech. Florida had the most selections with nine, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma and Southern California with seven apiece. Iowa, LSU, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas and Utah all had six apiece. Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia and South Carolina all had five players selected in the 2010 NFL draft.

Clemson had 18 players on NFL rosters last year, including Anthony Waters who was a member of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. Sixteen of the 18 players participated in an NFL game last year.

Since the end of last season, Tye Hill was traded to the Tennessee Titans and Charlie Whitehurst signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

2009 Tigers Who Were Drafted or Signed Free Agent Contracts

(As of  April 26, 2010)
Name	                Rd	Pick	Team
C.J. Spiller	        1	9	Buffalo Bills
Jacoby Ford	        4	108	Oakland Raiders
Ricky Sapp	        5	134	Philadelphia Eagles
Crezdon Butler	        5	164	Pittsburgh Steelers
Kavell Conner	        7	240	Indianapolis Colts
Michael Palmer	        FA		Atlanta Falcons
Thomas Austin	        FA		Minnesota Vikings
Chris Chancellor	FA		Cleveland Browns
Kevin Alexander	        FA		Denver Broncos

Clemson players in the NFL in 2009

Player	        	Pos	Team			GP-GS
Gaines Adams		DE	Tampa Bay Bucs		5-5
	         		Chicago Bears		10-0
Chris Clemons		FS	Miami Dolphins		11-2
James Davis		RB	Cleveland Browns	2-0
Brian Dawkins		SS	Denver Broncos		16-16
Nick Eason		DT	Pittsburgh Steelers	8-5
Dustin Fry		C	Carolina Panthers	#
Tyler Grisham		WR	Pittsburgh Steelers	4-0
Michael Hamilin		FS	Dallas Cowboys		6-0
Leroy Hill		LB	Seattle Seahawks	11-11
Tye Hill		CB	Atlanta Falcons		8-3
Phillip Merling		DE	Miami Dolphins		16-2
Justin Miller		CB	Oakland Raiders		1-0
				New York Jets		1-0
Trevor Pryce		DT	Baltimore Ravens	16-7
Barry Richardson	OT	Kansas City Chiefs	10-1
Dorell Scott		DT	St. Louis Rams		11-5
Chansi Stuckey		WR	New York Jets		4-3
				Cleveland Browns	11-0
Anthony Waters		LB	New Orleans Saints	3-0
Charlie Whitehurst	QB	San Diego Chargers	#
#On roster but did not play in a game

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