As the 2019 NFL season kicks off on Thursday night it seems about time to check in on our former Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NFL this season. It is a bit of a down year for Minnesota as they are down to just six active players at the moment. Additionally, several of them have moved teams since last season. So here is an update on where your favorite former Gophers will be playing this season:
On Active Rosters Heading into Week 1:
Maxx Williams— Tight End— Arizona Cardinals
Week 1 vs Detroit Lions
Maxx signed as a free agent with Arizona this spring after four seasons in Baltimore. Maxx has battled injuries and has never played more than 14 games in a season. He will look to backup Charles Clay and see if he can get some action catching balls from first overall pick Kyler Murray.
Eric Murray—Safety—Cleveland Browns
Week 1 vs Tennessee Titans
Murray was traded to to the Browns after spending the past three seasons in Kansas City. He enters the season listed as the second team free safety behind Damarious Randall in almost the exact spot as his former Gopher teammeate Briean Boddy-Calhoun was in last season. (more on him in a bit)
Damien Wilson—Linebacker—Kansas City Chiefs
Week 1 @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Wilson signed with Kansas City in the offseason after four years in Dallas. He is listed as a starting linebacker for the Chiefs as they head into Week 1.
De’Vondre Campbell—Linebacker—Atlanta Falcons
Week 1 @ Minnesota Vikings
Campbell enters the 2019 season coming off of his best season as a pro. He ended 2018 with 93 tackles, a career high. In his fourth season in Atlanta he has a strong grasp on a starting linebacker spot.
Blake Cashman—Linebacker—New York Jets
Week 1 vs Buffalo Bills
Cashman was selected in the fifth round of the draft by the Jets. He initially looked like he was just going to be an ace on the Jets special teams group just as he worked his way up at Minnesota. However, with an injury to the Jets previous starting middle linebacker Cashman now has seen some serious reps, and should see time as a pass coverage linebacker in the Jets system beginning on Sunday against Buffalo.
Tramaine Brock—Defensive Back—Arizona Cardinals
Week 1 vs Detroit Lions
Brock signed with the Cardinals as a free agent and will start the season as a starter at cornerback form Arizona according to their latest depth chart.
On A Roster But Not Active
Ra’Shede Hageman—DT—Atlanta Falcons
Shede has had an interesting few years of his NFL career. After playing three season with the Falcons, Hageman was suspended for six games and then released by Atlanta in 2017 after a domestsic assault arrest and a DWI. The domestic charge was dropped but not before Hageman was unemployable. He tried out with New England in 2018, but never made the team. Atlanta signed him to a one year deal last spring and he will have a chance to try and get some rotational snaps on the Falcons defensive line....but not until Week 3 as he is serving a two game suspension for the DWI.
Donnell Greene—OT—Jacksonville Jaguars
Greene missed the Gophers Bowl game to try and speed up recovery from a torn miniscus in his knee. He signed as an undrafted free agent with Jacksonville and began camp on the non-football injury list before being cleared to practice. However, he may have never recovered as Jacksonville waived him with an injury tag last weekend. Because no on claimed him, he will now spend the season on Injured Reserve with the Jaguars.
Current Free Agents:
MarQueis Gray—Tight End
Gray missed the 2018 season after tearing his achilles in training camp last summer. The dolphins did not resign him this season and Gray appears to be done with football for the forseeable future as he is back home in Minnesota.
BBC was not resigned by the Browns in the offseason and he signed with the Houston Texans. However, BBC was in the final roster cuts made by the Texans and is currently a free agent. He did supposedly have a workout with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday.
Sherels decided against resigning with Minnesota after the 2018 season and instead signed a one year contract with the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately he was cut in the final group last weekend and was issued an injury settlement by the Saints. He currently is a free agent.
Myrick bounced around in 2018 after being cut by Jacksonville after fall camp. he spent much of the season on the Vikings practice squad but was cut this spring. He was signed three weeks ago by the Falcons, but did not make the final roster cuts as is a free agent.
Woziniak spent the 2018 season on the Saints practice squad before being cut in fall camp this season. He signed with the Minnesota Vikings but didn’t make the final 53 man roster and is a free agent.
Three notable former Gophers continue to play regularly in the CFL. Simoni Lawrence has been one of the best defenders in the league for several years and currently plays for the Hamilton Tiger Cats. The Winnipig Blue Bombers have a pair of Gophers on their roster as Drew Wolitarsky continues to be a regular wide out for the Peg in his third season in the league. Joining him this season is Stephen Richardson. Stove was cut from the San Diego Chargers camp in 2018 and joined on the Blue Bombers this season.