The 2020 version of the NFL free agency window has set the Internet afire with big player news, blockbuster trades, a Tom Brady reference or eight and multiple players already agreeing to big contracts with new teams in just over 24 hours of the ‘legal tampering period.’ It was set so alight that I couldn’t even publish my ‘Austin Hooper set to make big bucks’ article without him announcing the contract terms on Twitter just minutes later.
Hooper is set to become the highest-paid tight end in the league after agreeing to a four-year, $44-million deal with the Cleveland Browns. He isn’t the only former Stanford Cardinal to make waves during free agency so far, and in fact, he isn’t the only former Cardinal tight end.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Levine Toilolo would be joining the New York Giants, filling the gap left by the retirement of Rhett Ellison.
Former 49ers’ TE Levine Toilolo is expected to sign with the NY Giants, who needed a replacement for the recently retired TE Rhett Ellison, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020
A massive man himself, Toilolo has 97 career receptions for 996 yards and eight touchdowns in his NFL career. He was selected with the 133rd pick in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft after finishing the 2012 season with a career-high 393 receiving yards at Stanford. He finished his Cardinal career with 50 receptions for 763 yards and 10 touchdowns as he’s essentially always been a better blocker than receiver.
[UPDATE] Toilolo’s contract terms were announced by Mike Garafolo as a two-year deal worth $6.2 million.
In a subsequent tweet to the aforementioned Adam Schefter tweet, PFF (the analytics company who grades NFL and NCAA football) stated that Toilolo ranked as the 26th-best tight end in run-blocking a season ago.
Toilolo joined Hooper as former Stanford tight ends on the move this offseason and former Cardinal linebacker Blake Martinez joined Toilolo on the move to ‘the Big Apple’ by also joining the Giants. Martinez lands in New York on a three-year, $30-million deal after spending the first four seasons as an integral part of the Green Bay Packers linebacking corps.
Martinez had 97 solo tackles a season ago including three sacks, a forced fumble and an interception to boot. He was a consensus first-team All-Pac-12 first-team member during his final season at Stanford in 2015 while he finished his four-year Stanford career with 135 solo tackles and 257 total tackles. He recorded five career interceptions and 13 pass breakups as his best attribute in college certainly was his coverage ability but despite that, has been deemed with ‘average coverage skills’ at the NFL level according to a former coach.
The 2020 NFL free agency window officially opens on Wednesday when these aforementioned Cardinal alum can actually put ink to paper and sign these large contracts but one thing is for sure, Stanford alum have already made some big bucks go ‘round.