The 2016 NFL season was huge for former Ohio State stars, with the league featuring up to 53 Buckeyes at any given time. Throughout the year, players were released, traded and injured — A.J. Hawk even unofficially retired -- all while the rookie class broke franchise and league records and earned postseason honors.
Now that the season is over, moves are being made. Those players that were released are hoping for a chance with a new team, and others could be subject to trade. There are plenty of Buckeyes who are looking for new contracts during free agency.
This is also the last chance for several prominent Buckeyes to snag a roster spot before having to accept their career ended early. Players like Boom Herron and DeVier Posey have bounced from team-to-team during their time in the league, and others like Nick Mangold and Mike Nugent might consider filing retirement papers should interest from teams be lower than expected.
Here at Land-Grant Holy Land, we’ll keep you updated on all the latest moves:
- 7/20: Just months after winning a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots, the team released offensive lineman Chase Farris with a "non-football injury" designation.
- 6/13: Safety Tyvis Powell was picked up off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts, joining several other Buckeyes defenders, including Hooker, Hankins, Mewhort and Simon.
- 6/9: Just months after getting the ax from Seattle, Tyvis Powell was released from his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns. The team released the safety just hours before he was slated to throw out the first pitch at the Indians game — he still kept his commitment.
- 5/22: Third-year wide receiver Devin Smith just can’t catch a break. The Buckeye was waived with an injury settlement by the New York Jets following a torn ACL during training in late-April. He passed through waivers and will sit on the team’s IR for the year.
- 5/11: After being signed in late-December, the Arizona Cardinals released safety Christian Bryant.
- 5/10: Former Buckeye standout Mike Adams (OT) spent last season on IR for the Chicago Bears, and told Land-Grant’s Matt Brown, that he’s retired from the NFL.
- 5/9: Tight end Jake Stoneburner signed a futures contract with the New Orleans Saints but was cut ahead of minicamps to free up room for undrafted free agents.
- 4/18: Denver Broncos exercised the fifth-year option on cornerback Bradley Roby’s rookie contract. The move guarantees Roby $8.5 million for the 2018 season.
- 4/18: Andrew Norwell signed his second-round tender with the Panthers, worth over $2.7 million for the 2017 season.
- 4/18: Ohio State and NFL legend A.J. Hawk officially retires from football as a member of his original team, the Green Bay Packers.
- 4/13: After spending much of the offseason on the free agency market, Johnathan Hankins finally agreed to a three-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts -- joining former teammates John Simon and Jack Mewhort.
- 4/11: Linebacker extraordinaire James Laurinaitis announced he will be hanging up his cleats and retiring from the NFL.
- 3/12: Only a few days into free agency and Corey ‘Philly’ Brown made a deal with the Bills — joining Cardale Jones and Adolphus Washington in Buffalo.
- 3/10: Quarterback turned wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. to sign a one-year deal with Washington — just a day after the team lost two 1,000-yard receivers and fired their GM.
- 3/10: Linebacker John Simon was signed by the Indianapolis Colts (from the Houston Texans) on a 3-year deal worth a maximum of $17 million.
- 3/9: Hours before the official start of free agency, it was reported that Ted Ginn Jr. would move on from the Panthers and sign with NFC South rival, the New Orleans Saints.
- 3/7: The Carolina Panthers decide not to tender restricted free agent wide receiver Corey ‘Philly’ Brown. The team did place a second-round tender on Andrew Norwell, worth $2.746 million in 2017.
- 2/25: Eleven year veteran Nick Mangold was released by the Jets in a move that freed up $9 million in cap space for the team. At 33 years old, the Buckeye will evaluate his options (which includes moving to guard) in the offseason.
- 2/7: Chase Farris signed to futures contract with the New England Patriots just days after claiming a Super Bowl win. Farris became one of only 11 Buckeyes to have both a National Championship win and Super Bowl title.
- 2/6: Tyvis Powell was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns. Originally signing with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, the team parted ways just before the playoffs. With another special team player going out for the longterm, the team released Powell and signed veteran Devin Hester to take them through the postseason. The Buckeye is excited to get back to his hometown.
- 1/17: Linebacker Curtis Grant was signed to a future/reserves contract with the New York Giants worth just over $1 million for two seasons. Grant has spent his two seasons in the league bouncing from team-to-team, starting his career with the Chargers before making brief stops with the Falcons, Titans, Raiders, and 49ers.
- 1/17: Running back Rod Smith signed a future/reserves contract with the Dallas Cowboys worth $1.3 million over two seasons. Smith converted to fullback ahead of the 2016 season, and could be competing for just one roster spot this offseason.
- 1/3: Offensive tackle Reid Fragel was signed to a future/reserves contract with the Minnesota Vikings worth $615,000 for just one season.
- 1/2: After being released just before the regular season by the Pittsburgh Steelers, cornerback Doran Grant was signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. The Jaguars decided to sign Grant to a future/reserves contract worth $1.17 million over two years, in order for him to use the training facilities this offseason.
- 12/28: Safety Christian Bryant was signed by the Arizona Cardinals off the New York Giants practice squad. His new deal was a 2-year, $1.1 million contract, and the Buckeye will be a restricted free agent heading into the 2018 season.