Nittany Lions in the NFL: 2022 Free Agency Recap
As the NFL’s offseason continues, many former Penn State football stars have made league-wide moves.
From big-money new contracts to franchise tags, the big league Nittany Lions are aiming to re-sign or find new teams to play for in the 2022 season. Naturally, that can be a lot for fans back home.
Here’s a look at where many former Penn State stars plan to play in 2022 so far.
Allen Robinson: Los Angeles Rams
After spending the last four years of his career with the Chicago Bears, Allen Robinson has finally changed scenery. The Nittany Lion was a franchise tagged last offseason by Chicago, and after an injury-filled 2021 campaign, Robinson and the Bears felt it was best to move on.
Robinson will join the Rams, defending Super Bowl champions, on a three-year contract worth approximately $45 million with $30 million guaranteed. After rushing for just 410 yards and catching a touchdown in just 12 games in 2021, Robinson will now join an offense that includes Matt Stafford and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp in hopes of finally getting a ring or making the playoffs. .
Chris Godwin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin had one of his best career seasons in 2021, totaling 98 receptions and 1,103 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns. However, a torn ACL in Week 14 caused Godwin to miss the remainder of the season and, possibly, the start of the 2022 campaign.
During free agency, the Buccaneers franchise tagged the sixth-year wide receiver. However, three days after quarterback Tom Brady announced he was coming out of retirement, Tampa Bay locked up the 26-year-old passer with a $60 million three-year contract, $40 million of which is fully guaranteed upon signing. When Godwin returns, he will join Brady and Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans in the hopes of securing their second ring in three seasons.
Mike Gesicki: Miami Dolphins
Mike Gesicki is coming off his best season of his young career and has established himself in the conversation as one of the best emerging tight ends in the league.
After adding Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead in free agency, Miami has decided to franchise the Gesicki tag to keep him with the Dolphins in 2022. The former Nittany Lions star will earn an estimated $11 million in 2022 and hopes to help Miami qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Ryan BatesBuffalo Bills
Entering the offseason as a restricted free agent, Ryan Bates had the opportunity to talk shop with any team. Bates was considered one of the best offensive linemen in this year’s free agent class having played in every regular season game the past two seasons for the Bills.
Bates and the Chicago Bears have agreed to a four-year contract for $17 million the money for the first two years being guaranteed. However, the Bills did not want to lose Bates and decided to match the offer, bringing the guard back to Buffalo for the next four seasons.
Austin Johnson: Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Johnson is another Nittany Lion who had a career year in 2021. Johnson had 72 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 17 games for the New York Giants last fall. He turned his career-best season into a new contract by landing a two-year contract for 14 million dollars with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Johnson now joins Pro Bowl stars like Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack in the hopes of winning a championship in 2022.
DaQuan Jones: Buffalo Bills
Joining Bates at Buffalo will be 30-year-old defensive tackle DaQuon Jones. After spending a year with the Carolina Panthers, Jones will join Buffalo’s defensive line on a two-year deal worth around $14 million. The Bills will push to be one of the best teams in football this season and should offer Jones a chance to win his first Super Bowl.
Dae Sean Hamilton: Houston Texans
DaeSean Hamilton was cut by the Denver Broncos after suffering a season-ending injury. Hamilton became a free agent and opted to sign a one-year deal with the Houston Texans for just over $1 million.
- defensive back Trojan Apke re-signed with the Washington Commanders on a one-year contract. Apke appeared in 50 games for Washington, starting in nine of them, and served as one of the special teams unit leaders with commanders.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed a $2.54 million bid on the linebacker Marcus Allen. Allen will be preparing for his fifth season with the Steelers in 2022 after totaling 12 tackles in 16 games last season.
- San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Kevin Givens returns to the 49ers on a one-year contract.
- Cornerback John Reid will also return to the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year contract.
- tight end Nick Bower will remain with the Las Vegas Raiders on a league minimum one-year contract.
- defensive end Carl Nassib remains unsigned after being cut by the Raiders.