Photo via Micah McFadden on Instagram

IU football veterans in the NFL: Post-free agency overview

Indiana football alums in the NFL, for the most part, stayed put this offseason.

12 former Hoosiers are currently on NFL rosters, not counting any 2023 undrafted free agent signings.  And only two players — guards Wes Martin and Dan Feeney — changed teams in free agency. Martin signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, while Feeney signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was a free agent this offseason, but he re-signed with the Detroit Lions.

Here’s a look at where the various Hoosiers are around the league.

QB Nate Sudfeld, Detroit Lions

Sudfeld is going into his seventh year in the NFL, and he’s bounced around the league. The Lions are his fourth team, though he’s been a career backup. He’s played in six games, including two with Detroit last season, with no starts.

WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Tennessee Titans

After going undrafted in 2020, Westbrook-Ikhine has developed into a player who sees the field regularly for Tennessee. He caught 25 passes last year for 397 yards and three touchdowns, and he’s in line to start for the Titans again in 2023.

WR Ty Fryfogle, Kansas City Chiefs

Fryfogle signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent last year, but suffered an injury during preseason and was released in August. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Chiefs in January, so he’ll have another opportunity to prove himself.

TE Peyton Hendershot, Dallas Cowboys

Hendershot, an undrafted free agent, had some good moments last season. He played in all 17 games, with 11 catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns — and his hurdle on Monday Night Football drew a playful jab from Troy Aikman to Joe Buck about Indiana. Starting tight end Dalton Schultz left in free agency, though the Cowboys used a second-round pick on Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker, likely returning Hendershot to a second or third option at the position.

TE Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers

Thomas is entering year two of a three-year extension he signed with Carolina in February 2022. The Panthers have a potential out in that contract after the 2023 season, and they just signed Hayden Hurst to a three-year deal, so that could be something to watch. Thomas is one receiving yard away from hitting 1,000 career yards, so he’ll hit that in year six this season.

OG Wes Martin, Cleveland Browns

Martin signed a one-year deal with Cleveland this offseason, following his second stint in Washington. He played in six games for the Commanders in 2022, and he’ll likely slot in as a depth option for the Browns this year.

OG Dan Feeney, Miami Dolphins

Feeney signed with Miami this year, his third NFL team. He started for three full seasons with the Chargers, and in the second half of his rookie year. But he was more of a reserve for the Jets the last two years, with seven starts in two seasons. He’ll likely be in the same role with the Dolphins.

OT Caleb Jones, Green Bay Packers

Jones opened 2022 on the Packers’ practice squad, signed to the active roster after week 1, went on the non-football illness list midseason, and then was reactivated in December. Jones returns to Green Bay this year and will likely have to fight for a roster spot again.

DE Ryder Anderson, New York Giants

Anderson started last year on the Giants’ practice squad, but was elevated for two games in October before he was signed to the active roster in December. He’s credited with two starts last year, but he primarily appeared on special teams in his nine total games for the Giants, including the playoffs. He assisted on a tackle in both postseason games. He figures to be in a similar spot entering 2023.

LB Micah McFadden, New York Giants

McFadden remains the most recent IU draftee after this year’s shutout. He played in every game for the Giants last year, with seven starts, but he was inactive for both playoff games. McFadden finished the year with 59 tackles, including six tackles for loss and two sacks, and he forced one fumble. He’ll likely be a second-string linebacker again this year.

LB Marcelino McCrary-Ball, San Francisco 49ers

McCrary-Ball spent 2022 on the 49ers’ practice squad, and was never elevated to the active roster. He’ll be back in San Francisco this offseason with another chance to prove himself.

S Raheem Layne, Los Angeles Chargers

Layne began on the Chargers’ practice squad in 2022, but was elevated for three games in the second half of the season. He was signed to the active roster ahead of LA’s week 16 game in Indianapolis. He played in seven games, including postseason, primarily on special teams. He’ll enter 2023 looking to earn a spot on the Chargers’ 53-man roster to start the season.

Free Agents Who Saw NFL Action in 2022

  • Rodger Saffold
  • Tevin Coleman
  • Jordan Howard

Seven more former IU players signed deals with NFL teams following the 2023 NFL Draft:

No IU football players chosen in NFL Draft for first time since 2013, several get free agent deals

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