Jayhawks sign as free agents with NFL

The top two KU players eligible for this year’s NFL Draft didn’t hear their names called in Kansas City, but both did land free agent deals after the draft’s conclusion on Saturday.

Linebacker Lonnie Phelps, Jr signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns, and offensive lineman Earl Bostick, Jr. signed a deal with the Dallas Cowboys, according to multiple reports.

Both former Jayhawks were projected as late-round draft possibilities by several analysts. but ultimately fell short of those projections. Free agent contracts, though, are another path the NFL. Free agents get invited to training camp to compete for open spots on the teams, but the deals usually don’t come with the type of signing bonuses given to draft picks.

However, the NFL Network was reporting on Saturday that Bostick received $200,000 in guaranteed money for signing with the Cowboys.

Bostick started 36 games for the Jayhawks during his career, and has been graded by many draft experts as having the size and speed to compete for a tackle position in the NFL with a team looking for a mobile offensive lineman.

Phelps was a second team All-Big 12 selection last season, and led the Jayhawks with 11.5 tackles for loss. Phelps and Bostick were the only two KU players who were invited to the NFL Draft Combine, but about a half-dozen other KU players worked out for scouts at KU Pro Day in late March.

There were signs on Saturday that at least one of those Pro Day athletes had found a deal. A reporter for the Indianapolis Star reported that KU defensive lineman Caleb Sampson had signed as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts.


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