Florida Gators in the NFL: Six advance to 2015-16 Conference Championship games

The 2015-16 NFL season has been an exciting one for former Florida Gators in the league, and it will continue during Conference Championship game action next week with six Gators representing three of the four teams hoping for an opportunity to play in Super Bowl 50.

Overall, 11 former Florida players were on the rosters of teams that played in Divisional Round games over the weekend. That’s down from the 18 that started the postseason on NFL rosters as seven were eliminated in the Wild Card Round.

Below is a look at the Gators moving on to the next round and those that have fallen along the way. Teams and players in blue have advanced to the Conference Championships.

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Florida Gators in the NFL: 2015 — Weeks 2, 3

The 2015 NFL regular season continued in Weeks 2 and 3 with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters entering the season including Denver and Pittsburgh (three each); Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington (two each).

Below are full updates on all the players on official NFL rosters.

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2015 — Week 1

The 2015 NFL regular season began this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters entering the season including Denver and Pittsburgh (three each); Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington (two each).

Below are full updates on all the players on official NFL rosters.

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Breakdown of 2015 preseason Weeks 1 and 2

The 2015 NFL preseason began two weeks ago with 48 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Sixteen teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Denver, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington (four each); Pittsburgh (three); and Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full updates all 48 players on NFL rosters, most of whom saw action over the first two weeks of the preseason. There are also select injury and status updates on some other Gators below.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed … after the break!

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4 NFL BITS: David Nelson signs with Steelers, Jaguars S Josh Evans gives inspirational speech

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver David Nelson – a five-year NFL veteran who had spent time in Buffalo, Cleveland and with the New York Jets – has been without a team since being waived by the Jets in mid-October after New York traded for his Florida teammate, WR Percy Harvin. On Wednesday, Nelson was finally picked up when the Pittsburgh Steelers signed him to a contract and reunited him with former Gators teammates center Maurkice Pouncey and right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

For Nelson, the Steelers signing comes nearly a month after he posted a deeply personal blog on his charity’s website. Asking, ‘Do I pursue my passion, or my heart?‘ Nelson explores how his i’mME charity changed his life but also made him a bit of an outsider in the NFL. “Since my release, there’s been hesitation to sign me to a contract, due largely to how I spend my free time [with my charity], even though it’s made me stronger – physically mentally, emotionally.” Nelson pointed out that “not one team” has said his talent was an issue; rather, “I’m hearing questions about my commitment because I’m outspoken about my nonprofit, and I do a lot to make it successful.”

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6 BITS: Mike Miller traded, Casey Prather headed overseas, Tim Tebow throws, McElwain praised

1 » Former Florida Gators guard/forward Mike Miller, who signed a two-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to play with superstar LeBron James and hopefully win another title before retiring, has been traded by the franchise to the Portland Trailblazers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who first reported the Miller trade, he will likely be bought out by Portland and become a free agent, though league rules prevent him from resigning with Cleveland for a full season.

With roster spots at a premium right now, Miller would likely have to wait to join a new team; he could also decide to retire. Miller, 35, is owed $2.85 million in the final year of his contract but will likely accept a buyout for a much lower amount. He has already received $400,000 as a trade kicker, a clause that was built into his Cavaliers contract.

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4 BITS: Chris Walker, Casey Prather join other Florida Gators in 2015 NBA Summer League

1 » It may have taken a bit longer than others, but it appears as if Florida Gators center Chris Walker has found a home for the 2015 NBA Summer League. As first reported by FOX 26 sports director Mark Berman, Walker could join the Houston Rockets for summer league play in Las Vegas from July 10-20. OnlyGators.com has confirmed that Walker is listed on the roster the team submitted to the NBA of projected players, though we were cautioned that could change ahead of the event in two weeks if the team does not like what it sees in tryouts. A league source has also told OnlyGators.com that forward Casey Prather will be a member of the NBA D-League select team after succeeding as a member of the Bakersfield Jam last season.

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Miami Dolphins sign Mike Pouncey to extension, making him the NFL’s highest-paid center

Former Florida Gators center Mike Pouncey became the NFL‘s highest-paid player at his position on Friday night when he agreed to a five-year, $45 million extension ($22 million guaranteed) with the Miami Dolphins.

The landmark deal signed by the No. 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft will mark the second league-record contract secured by the Pouncey family in as many offseasons.

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