Yesterday was the first day of NFL free agency and NFL teams gave out nearly a billion dollars in total contracts. Several Hoos were part of the frenzy, with a couple signing very large deals.
Danny Aiken - Aiken has been the long snapper in every game for the Patriots since they signed him in 2011. Long snappers don't make a ton of money, but Aiken is a good one. His deal is likely for the minimum, which would be about $600,000 for him.
Branden Albert - In a move that didn't surprise many, Albert signed a big deal with the Miami Dolphins. There were rumors last season that the Dolphins were trying to trade for Albert, but now they get him without giving up any assets. Albert's new deal is for 5 years and $47 million, with $25 million guaranteed.
Nate Collins - Collins signed a one year deal with the Bears. Collins suffered a torn ACL during the season, just weeks after moving into the starting lineup. The parameters of his deal aren't public, but coming off the injury, it is probably about the same as last year's deal, which was for $630,000.
Heath Miller - Heath was extended by the Steelers last week, while NFL teams were allowed to negotiate with their own players. While the deal extends his contract for 2 years (until 2016), the goal was to lower his salary cap hit for this season. The final two years are not guaranteed. He was given a $5 million signing bonus to restructure the deal.
Eugene Monroe - HooGene resigned with the Baltimore Ravens for5 years and $37.5 million. He is guaranteed $19 million. The Ravens traded for Monroe during the season, giving up 2 draft picks for him.
Jason Snelling - Some may already have seen the news, but Jason Snelling has retired from the NFL. Snelling, at 30 years old, was a 7th round draft pick by the Falcons and played his entire 7 year career there. He finishes with 1420 yards rushing and 1249 yards receiving.
There's still a handful of former Hoos in free agency, including Chris Cook and Matt Schaub. We'll keep you updated when any news comes in for those guys.