Four Vols get free-agent deals

Four former Tennessee Vols who were overlooked in the recent NFL Draft have found jobs, while a fifth continues to shop for a new work address.

Defensive end Xavier Mitchell and guard Eric Young have signed free-agent contracts with the Cleveland Browns. Defensive end Antonio Reynolds has signed a free-agent deal with the Super Bowl champ New York Giants. Safety Jonathan Hefney has hooked up with the Tampa Bay Bucs, although he is listed as a cornerback prospect.

Linebacker Ryan Karl, who may have to make the transition to safety in the NFL, is still seeking gainful employment at the next level.

Thirty-five SEC players were drafted last weekend, including ex-Vols Jerod Mayo (New England, Round 1), Brad Cottam (Kansas City, Round 3) and Erik Ainge (New York Jets, Round 5).

Given the SEC's reputation for churning out pro-caliber players, it isn't surprising that 31 more of the league's better athletes already have signed free-agent deals. Here's a list of all 31 to date:

ARIZONA CARDINALS: Ali Highsmith, LB, LSU ... Lance Long, WR, Mississippi State, Carlton Medder, G, Florida

ATLANTA FALCONS: Brandon Miller, DE, Georgia

CAROLINA PANTHERS: Casper Brinkley, DE, South Carolina ... Brandon Jenkins, DT, Ole Miss

CINCINNATI BENGALS: Simeon Castille, CB, Alabama

CLEVELAND BROWNS: Eric Young, OT, Tennessee ... Xavier Mitchell, DE, Tennessee ... Jonathan Zenon, CB, LSU

DENVER BRONCOS: Wesley Woodyard, LB, Kentucky

GREEN BAY PACKERS: Kregg Lumpkin, RB, Georgia

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Theo Horrocks, DT, Vanderbilt ... Michael Grant, CB, Arkansas

MIAMI DOLPHINS: Titus Brown, DE, Mississippi State

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Ole Miss

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Luke Sanders, LB, LSU

NEW YORK GIANTS: Antonio Reynolds, DE, Tennessee ... Wallace Gilberry, DE, Alabama ... Carnell Stewart, OL, LSU

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Dezmond Sherrod, TE, Mississippi State

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Kelin Johnson, S, Georgia

ST. LOUIS RAMS: Matt Caddell, WR, Alabama ... Josh Thompson, NT, Auburn

TAMPA BAY BUCS: Jonathan Hefney, CB, Tennessee

TENNESSEE TITANS: Tony Joiner, S, Florida ... Rafael Little, RB, Kentucky ... Eric Scott, C, Kentucky ... Fernando Velasco, G, Georgia

WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Curtis Gatewood, LB, Vanderbilt ... Matteral Richardson, CB, Arkansas


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