NFL Update: Offseason Contract Signings

Cam Brate played in all 16 games for Tampa Bay this season (FanRag Sports).
Cam Brate played in all 16 games for Tampa Bay this season (FanRag Sports).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The official 2018 National Football League year is just over a week old, but a number of Harvard alumni have signed new contracts already. Below is a recap of the most recent signings and a recap of all alumni that were on NFL rosters in 2017.

Cameron Brate '14
6-5 | 235 | TE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Contract Update:
The offseason started off in grand fashion for Brate, who was rewarded with a six-year, $40.8 million contract ($18 million in guarantees) from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brate signed with the Bucs as a free agent before the 2014 season. He spent time on the practice squad before earning the starting role in 2016. He has 105 receptions for 1,251 yards, as well as 14 touchdowns with the Bucs. His 14 scores are the third-most among all tight ends in the NFL since 2016, behind only Jimmy Graham (16) and Kyle Rudolph (15).
2017 Season:
Brate continued to be a significant contributor to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his fourth NFL season. The versatile tight end played in all 16 regular season games and made five starts. Brate found the end zone on six occasions and accumulated 591 yards on 48 receptions. While at Harvard, Brate was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League first team, as well as a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. He finished his senior campaign with 25 receptions for 403 yards with five scores. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick '05
6-2 | 225 | QB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Contract Update:
Fitzpatrick signed a one-year, $3.3 million contract to remain with the Tampa Buccaneers for the 2018 season.
2017 Season: Fitzpatrick served as the backup quarterback in Tampa Bay in 2017. He saw the field in six contests and went 2-1 in his three starts with seven touchdown passes. Over his 13-year NFL career, Fitzpatrick has started 119 games, completing passes at a 59.7 percent rate and registering 173 touchdowns. At Harvard, the Asa S. Bushnell Cup winner accumulated 1,986 yards with 13 touchdowns as a senior, leading the Crimson to a perfect 10-0 record in 2004.

Tyler Ott '14
6-3 | 252 | LS
Seattle Seahawks 
Contract Update:
Ott will remain in Seattle next season as the team's long snapper. The 2014 Harvard graduate signed a one-year $540,000 contract to stay with the Seahawks this offseason.
2017 Season: Ott completed his third NFL season in 2017, serving as the long snapper in all 16 games for the Seattle Seahawks. Ott entered the NFL in 2014 and has spent time with the Patriots, Rams, Giants and Bengals. A Senior Bowl participant, Ott finished his senior season at Harvard with 15 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns – three of those against Princeton for which he was named National Tight End of the Week by College Football Performance Awards. Ott long snapped for the Crimson for all four years.  

Nick Easton '15
6-3 | 303 | OL
Minnesota Vikings 

Contract Update: The Vikings placed a second-round tender on restricted free agent Nick Easton. The one-year tender is worth $2.914 million. Easton is free to negotiate with other teams during free agency, but the Vikings have the option to either match the offer or receive a second-round draft pick as compensation.
2017 Season: Easton was a key contributor on the Minnesota Vikings offensive line, helping the team to a 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship game. Easton started the first 12 games of the season at left guard for the Vikings before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. An AP FCS All-America third team selection, Easton was part of an offensive line that helped the Crimson to a perfect 10-0 record and an Ivy League championship title in 2014. 

2017 Season Recaps

Kyle Juszczyk '13
6-1 | 240 | FB
San Francisco 49ers
Juszczyk put an exclamation point on his first season with the San Francisco 49ers, earning the starting fullback spot on the NFC Pro Bowl squad in his second-career Pro Bowl selection. Categorized as an "offensive weapon" by San Francisco general manager John Lynch, Juszczyk caught 33 passes for 315 yards and one score this season. He also has rushed for 31 yards on seven carries. While at Harvard, Juszczyk earned numerous first-team All-American honors after posting 52 receptions for 706 receiving yards (13.6 avg.) and eight TDs, tied for the second-highest total in a single season in Harvard history. 

Ben Braunecker '16 
6-4 | 255 | TE
Chicago Bears

Braunecker completed his second season with the Bears. After starting the season on the practice squad, he was elevated to the 53-man roster in November and played in the final eight games of the season. He had four receptions for 41 yards in his rookie campaign in Chicago. He led Harvard with 48 receptions for 850 yards and eight TDs during the 2015 season, landing on several All-America first teams. A native of Ferdinand, Indiana, Braunecker concluded his Crimson career with 68 career receptions for 1,168 yards and 10 scores.

Cole Toner '16
6-5 | 300 | OL
Los Angeles Chargers
Toner spent time during his second NFL season on the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots practice squads. Following the conclusion of the regular season, Toner was signed to a futures contract by the Los Angeles Chargers. A semifinalist for the 2015 National Football Foundation William V. Campbell Trophy (the academic Heisman), Toner helped the Crimson to three-straight Ivy League titles during his career in Cambridge.

Adam Redmond '16
6-6 | 290 | OL
Buffalo Bills

Redmond spent the initial portion of his second NFL season with the Indianapolis Colts, playing four games, before being signed to the Buffalo Bills practice squad in October. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Bills signed Redmond to a futures contract. The co-Recipient of Harvard's William Paine LaCroix Trophy and an Ivy-League first team selection in 2015, Redmond helped the Crimson to three-straight Ivy League titles during his career.

Anthony Fabiano '16
6-3 | 305 | C
Washington Redskins

Fabiano had an active second NFL season, spending time on five teams practice squads. Following training camp with the Cleveland Browns, Fabiano was signed by the Redskins, Giants, Patriots and Colts practice squads before signing a futures contract with Washington at the end the season. Named to the Reese's Senior Bowl Watch List, Fabiano was a first-team All-Ivy League selection, helping the Crimson to its third-straight Ivy League championship title in 2015. 

Anthony Firkser '17
6-2 | 241 | FB
Kansas City Chiefs

Firkser began his first NFL season with the New York Jets and joined the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad in November. Following the season, he signed a futures contract with the Chiefs. He appeared in 29 games for the Crimson, totaling 99 receptions for 1,559 yards and 14 touchdowns. As a senior, he was an unanimous All-Ivy first team selection as he set career highs in receptions (45), yards (702) and touchdowns (7).