Two Virginia Tech players have signed free agent contracts with NFL teams,
and a few others may do the same in the coming days. If everything goes as
expected, that would put 14 Virginia Tech players into the NFL as rookies in
lineman Jason Murphy was the first Tech player to sign a free agent contract. He
will join his fellow offensive lineman Jimmy Martin, who was drafted in the
seventh round, in San Diego. Murphy was originally a defensive tackle for the
Hokies, but moved to offensive guard before the 2003 season. He has been a
starter for Tech the last two seasons and earned First Team All-ACC honors
following the 2005 season.
Defensive tackle Tim Sandidge has signed an NFL free agent deal with the St.
Louis Rams. A year ago at this time, Sandidge would have been considered the
unlikeliest of Tech’s defensive linemen to get a chance at the NFL. He
recorded just seven total tackles during the 2004 season, his junior year.
Sandidge got another opportunity when Carlton Powell went down with an ankle
injury against NC State in the 2005 season opener, and he took full advantage.
He got a lot of playing time the remainder of the season and recorded 36
tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.
Other Tech players who have a chance to sign free agent deals include
quarterback Marcus Vick, offensive guard Reggie Butler and tailback Mike Imoh.
Vick was considered a possibility to be drafted in the late rounds, but NFL
teams decided that he was not worth the risk due to his checkered past. He will
be a priority free agent and will likely be able to choose from among a number
Mike Imoh and Reggie Butler will likely sign a free agent contract with an
NFL team, but both have outside chances of actually making a final roster.