3 Connections Between College Football and NFL Free Agency

Raiders sign QB Marcus Mariota

Mariota, the #2 pick in the 2015 Draft to the Titans, signed with the Raiders to backup Derek Carr. Two years before winning the Heisman Trophy (in 2014), Mariota and Oregon hosted Carr and Fresno State during week 2 of the 2012 season.

Oregon won 42-25, with Mariota completing 19-27 passes for 166 yards and a TD and ran for 67 yards. Carr threw 47 passes, throwing for 234 yards and 1 TD.

Cowboys re-sign WR Amari Cooper

Marcus Mariota and Oregon played in the first ever College Football Playoff Championship Game, losing to Ohio State. Buckeyes beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl as part of the Playoff Semifinals.

That game featured two current Cowboys stars facing off. RB Ezekiel Elliott carried Ohio State’s offense, running for 230 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns. On the other side of the field, Alabama WR Amari Cooper led the team in catches (9) and yards (71) and caught both of QB Blake Sims’ touchdown passes

Panthers sign QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater was a three year starter at Louisville and in 2012-2013, the Cardinals went a combined 23-3. But in his debut season of 2011, Louisville finished 7-6 with a loss in the Belk Bowl.

The Belk Bowl is played at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, where Bridgewater will now play 8 home games beginning in 2020.

In that 2011 Belk Bowl loss to NC State, Bridgewater completed 24-43 passes for 274 yards, 2 TD and 3 INT.

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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