Former Independence Bowl Players Collect Over $325 Million in NFL Free Agency

Former Florida State edge rusher, Brian Burns, at the 2017 Independence Bowl vs. Southern Miss (Photo: Steve Mauldin/Independence Bowl Archives)

 

SHREVEPORT, La. (May 13, 2024) – Free agency in the National Football League (NFL) opened three months ago on March 13, and Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl alumni have signed some of the largest contracts of the offseason – totaling over $325 million in value.

Former Florida State Seminole Brian Burns, who played in the 2017 Independence Bowl, signed the largest contract of the group – inking a five-year, $150 million contract with the New York Giants after being traded from the Carolina Panthers. Louisiana Tech’s L’Jarius Sneed signed the second-largest deal of an Independence Bowl alumni. He was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Tennessee Titans and signed a four-year, $76.4 million contract with the Titans. The Minden-native was a leader on the Bulldogs’ defense that recorded the first shutout in Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl history in 2019 against Miami.

In all, 40 former Independence Bowl players inked new contracts this offseason – ranging from lucrative multi-year deals to one-year reserve/future contracts. A number of notable Independence Bowl alumni still remain unsigned and will likely find homes prior to training camps opening later in the summer, including former All-Pro safety Justin Simmons (Boston College, 2013), former All-Pro edge rusher Justin Houston (Georgia, 2009), running back Cam Akers (Florida State, 2017), quarterback Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M, 2009) and safety Terrell Edmunds (Virginia Tech, 2015).

Below are all of the former Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl players that have signed contracts this offseason:

  • Burns: Five-year, $150 million deal with the Giants
  • Sneed: Four-year, $76.4 million deal with the Titans
  • Justin Jones (NC State, 2016): Three-year, $30.1 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals
  • Mitch Morse (Missouri, 2011): Two-year, $10.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Gus Edwards (Miami, 2014): Two-year, $6.5 million with the Los Angeles Chargers
  • K.J. Osborn (Miami, 2019): One-year, $4 million deal with the New England Patriots
  • Jon Feliciano (Miami, 2014): One-year, $2.75 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers
  • Sam Franklin (Temple, 2018): One-year, $2.58 million deal with the Panthers 
  • Denzel Perryman (Miami, 2014): One-year, $2.3 million deal with the Chargers
  • Braxton Berrios (Miami, 2014): One-year, $2.15 million deal with the Miami Dolphins
  • Chuck Clark (Virginia Tech, 2015): One-year, $2 million deal with the New York Jets
  • Derrick Nnadi (Florida State, 2017): One-year, $2 million deal with the Chiefs
  • Nyheim Hines (NC State, 2016): One-year, $2 million deal with the Cleveland Browns
  • Adam Butler (Vanderbilt, 2016): One-year, $1.8 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders
  • Trent Sherfield (Vanderbilt, 2016): One-year, $1.8 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings
  • Kentavius Street (NC State, 2016): One-year, $1.77 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons
  • Matt Hennessy (Temple, 2018): One-year, $1.75 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles
  • Oren Burks (Vanderbilt, 2016): One-year, $1.5 million deal with the Eagles
  • Kenny Yeboah (Temple, 2018): One-year, $1.425 million deal with the Jets
  • Artie Burns (Miami, 2014): One-year, $1.38 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks
  • Deon Bush (Miami, 2014): One-year, $1.38 million deal with the Chiefs
  • Michael Badgley (Miami, 2014): One-year, $1.29 million deal with the Detroit Lions
  • Quez Watkins (Southern Miss, 2017): One-year, $1.29 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Will Harris (Boston College, 2013): One-year, $1.29 million deal with the New Orleans Saints
  • Joey Slye (Virginia Tech, 2015): One-year, $1.27 million deal with the Patriots
  • Justin Skule (Vanderbilt, 2016): One-year, $1.26 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Phillip Dorsett (Miami, 2014): One-year, $2 million deal with the Panthers
  • Cornell Armstrong (Southern Miss, 2017): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Raiders
  • Joejuan Williams (Vanderbilt, 2016): One-year, $1.125 million deal with the Vikings
  • Tarvarius Moore (Southern Miss, 2017): One-year, $1.125 deal with the Chicago Bears
  • Deon Jackson (Duke, 2018): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Giants
  • Tre McKitty (Florida, State, 2017): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Buffalo Bills
  • Joe Giles-Harris (Duke, 2018): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Patriots
  • Nesta Jade Silvera (Miami, 2019): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Raiders
  • Jonathan Ford (Miami, 2019): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Green Bay Packers
  • Shaka Heyward (Duke, 2018): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Cincinnati Bengals
  • DeWayne McBride (UAB, 2021): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Vikings
  • Kadeem Telfort (UAB, 2021): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Packers
  • Donavan Mutin (Houston, 2022): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Falcons
  • Gerrit Prince (UAB, 2021): One-year, $1.125 million reserve/futures deal with the Chiefs

There are 106 former Independence Bowl players who were on NFL rosters at some point during the regular season last year, and another six players were drafted in the 2024 NFL Draft.

ABOUT THE RADIANCE TECHNOLOGIES INDEPENDENCE BOWL™

Established in 1976, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl™ is college football’s 11th most-historic bowl game and celebrated its 47th edition on Saturday, December 16, 2023. The Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated the California Golden Bears, 34-14. The Independence Bowl Foundation announced a one-year extension with Radiance Technologies – ensuring they will be the title sponsor through 2025. The bowl’s conference, team, and television agreements also run through the 2025 season. Army West Point is slated to match up against the Pac-12 Conference in 2024, and the Big 12 Conference is lined up to face Conference USA in 2025.

The Independence Bowl Foundation is prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance the economic impact and growth of our community. The Mission of the Independence Bowl is to attract and provide quality, nationally recognized football competition oriented to the Ark-La-Tex region. For more information, visit RadianceTechnologiesIndependenceBowl.com or follow the bowl on Facebook, X and Instagram at @IndyBowl.

Independence Bowl Foundation

P.O Box 1723, Shreveport LA 71166  |  401 Market Street, Shreveport, LA 71101  |  318.221.0712

2024 Independence Bowl