Silver Lining for May 20: Updates on Florida Gators in the NFL; farewell to David Letterman

Get them to sign on the line which is dotted

Three weeks have passed since the 2015 NFL Draft and Florida Gators have spent the time signing rich contracts to play professional football.

The most notable deal struck to this point was that between No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler Jr. and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite the defensive end suffering a season-ending torn ACL in his very first NFL practice and signing an injury waiver, the Jaguars did not force offset language into his contract and still inked him to a four-year, $23.5 million fully-guaranteed deal with a $15.3 million signing bonus. Fowler will bring home $4.27 million this season without stepping foot on the field.

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Four Florida Gators sign undrafted free agent deals, others receive NFL tryouts

Former Florida Gators wide receiver Quinton Dunbar, tight end Clay Burton and defensive tackles Darious Cummings and Leon Orr signed three-year, $1.575 million undrafted free agent contracts with teams following the 2015 NFL Draft.

Dunbar was signed by Washington and Burton was picked up by the Buffalo Bills, while Cummings was grabbed by the Carolina Panthers and Orr moved out to the west coast with the Oakland Raiders.

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Chaz Green – Path to the 2015 NFL Draft: Visiting Seahawks, preparing for the big day

Through the 2015 NFL Draft from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green will keep you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Green checks in for the fifth time to discuss his final visits and last steps ahead of the draft, which he will watch from his home in Palm Harbor, Florida.

After a bunch of visits, I returned to Gainesville for a few days but only got a short rest before jumping on a plane for my final visit to Seattle. With the success the Seahawks have had the last couple years, that was a really exciting visit. I had never been to Seattle and had only been to the west coast once when I visited USC on a recruiting trip during high school. It’s a great city, great people and a first-class organization. Everyone is all about business and success.

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Chaz Green – Path to 2015 NFL Draft: Visits with Dallas, Buffalo, Atlanta, Tampa and Indianapolis

Through the 2015 NFL Draft from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green will keep you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Green checks in for the fourth time as he continued his on- and off-site visits with NFL teams from across the country.

Right after Pro Day was over, I flew out to Dallas. It was a great trip. I met the whole coaching staff. [Offensive line] coach [Frank] Pollack, after he came down to work me out in Gainesville, it was good to go up there and see him again. I met Mr. [Jerry] Jones, sat down with Coach [Jason] Garrett and had a great conversation. They showed me everything they have to offer and what it means, the tradition behind that franchise. That’s one franchise where you can definitely feel the tradition and history that comes with being a Cowboy. Overall it was a great experience. Everything definitely is bigger in Texas like they say; I definitely felt that while I was there compared to my other trips.

The first day I got there, we went to the stadium and they were actually setting up for the Country Music Awards. We went into the sky box, had dinner, meeting everyone, all the coaches and Mr. Jones. It was all about getting to know everyone and them getting to see you on a personal level.

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Chaz Green – Path to the 2015 NFL Draft: Lining up team visits, Florida Gators Pro Day recap

Through the 2015 NFL Draft from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green will keep you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Green checks in for the third time after visiting with four more NFL teams and participating in Pro Day on Tuesday in Gainesville, Florida.

Since the last time I checked in, the only non-football thing I’ve done that is really notable is met with a stylist in Ocala. My agent set up that appointment, and I’m excited to see what we come up with ahead of my visits and the draft.

On March 20, I met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They put me on the board in the meeting room for three hours to see how well I picked up installations – inside zone runs, outside zone runs. They showed me how they would block against 15 different fronts they see on a regular basis, and in order to evaluate whether I understood them, had me answer when they called out those specific fronts. When we got done, they gave me a test to see how much information I retained from the session. I think I did really well because I got some real good feedback from that workout.

I had a bit of a break after that meeting, so I just stayed up on my workouts in order to make sure I stayed best shape possible. We don’t have a whole lot of time left until the draft and everything runs together, so I’ve just been trying to work out and promote myself, too, keep my name out there as we go through the process.

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4 BITS: April Fools, Speights, McDonald, Spikes

1 » The Florida Gators pulled off an elaborate April Fools’ Day hoax on Wednesday – not that anyone was actually fooled, per se – by creating a “Freaky Friday Night Lights” campaign that included University of Florida president Kent Fuchs and head football coach Jim McElwain switching jobs after Fuchs supposedly exercised an unknown clause in his university contract.


The video is good. What really sent the “prank” home was the president and coach changing their respective Twitter profiles and the men, plus the players involved in the video, all playing along. And fun was had by all. Considering there is a Florida football practice this afternoon, though, maybe Fuchs will actually open up and provide some details on what exactly the Gators will be doing offensively this season.

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Former Florida Gators LB Brandon Spikes: ‘I’ve already set my watch: it’s Tebow time.’

While discussing his free agency during an interview Wednesday on NFL Network, former Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes did not parse words when asked whether quarterback Tim Tebow would succeed if given another chance in the NFL.

“I love Tim Tebow. I love Tim Tebow. He’s a great person, and I think he’s a great quarterback. He gets the job done, and at the end of the day, he wins,” Spikes said. “Given the opportunity, I think he’ll go out there and perform.

“I’ve already set my watch: it’s Tebow time.”

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4 BITS: Harvin, recruiting, Pounceys, McDonald

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin has found his fourth NFL home, signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Buffalo Bills for the 2015 season. Harvin, who has been traded twice in the last two years and was cut by the New York Jets this offseason, follows head coach Rex Ryan to the Bills. Injuries and character concerns have derailed Harvin’s NFL success, but he is still seen as an explosive playmaker who can be a difference-maker both on offense and special teams. The one-year deal allows him to prove his value and potentially facilitate a long-term deal with a franchise in 2016.

2 » Florida football is going young. How young? Well, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the Gators recently sent offers out to a high school freshman in running back Lorenzo Lingard and an eighth-grader in wide receiver Blake Hinson. According to their head coaches, Florida’s offer is the third for each player; Lingard also heard from Georgia and Iowa, while Hinson was offered by Miami and North Carolina. How did the Gators go about offering an eighth-grader? Hinson’s coach, DJ Mayo, told the News-Journal that he showed the player’s tape to head coach Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier on his cell phone; an offer was sent the next day.

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