Five Commodores Ink NFL Free Agent Deals

Five Commodore seniors, including record-setting quarterback Greg Zolman and 2001 captains Nate Morrow and Antuian Bradford, have inked free agent contracts with National Football League teams.

Though no Commodore was selected in the NFL Draft, several had firm deals when the two-day event concluded Sunday night.

As of early Monday, former Commodores with free-agent deals are Zolman, with the Indianapolis Colts; Morrow and Bradford, both with the Tennessee Titans; Lew Thomas, with the San Diego Chargers; and Pat Green, with the Philadelphia Eagles.

At least three other seniors - safety Harold Lercius, punter Joe Webb, and RB Rodney Williams - are hoping to land deals.

Thomas, who missed the second half of the 2001 season with a broken foot, will be reunited with former Commodore offensive coordinator Steve Crosby in San Diego. The Chargers will give Thomas an opportunity at running back behind LaDamian Tomlinson and on special teams.

"I talked to Coach Crosby and Coach (Marty) Schottenheimer. They said they were looking for a backup at running back and someone to help on special teams. I'm going to camp trying to do the best I possibly can," Thomas said. He also considered an offer from the Titans.

Crosby, reached in San Diego, believes Thomas can help the Chargers. "He has a chance to help this team in a backup role at running back. We believe he can be an impact player on special teams," Crosby said.

Zolman was disappointed not being drafted, but optimistic about his deal with the Colts. He agreed with Indianapolis after talking to new Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy. "You have to make the best of the situation. After talking to the coaches with three teams, we felt the Colts offered the best fit. They're looking to groom somebody as the second-team quarterback behind (Peyton) Manning," He will report Thursday to Indinapolis' rookie camp.

Morrow and Bradford parlayed excellent conditioning workouts three weeks ago at the Titans' Nashville complex into deals with Tennessee, becoming the first Commodores to sign with the Titans since the franchise relocated to Nashville in 1996. The Titans' rookie camp opens May 2.

The Titans are expected to give both Morrow and Bradford a look at reserve linebacker roles. Bradford also is projected as a potential special teams standout.

Green, a native of Pennsylvania, joins the Eagles, and at 6-7 and 344, has the physical tools and the size pro scouts are seeking at offensive tackle.


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