Locals sign on first day of NFL free agency

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - NFL free agency is usually open for much of the summer. Because of the lockout, that was squeezed into just a few days.

But many players with Virginia ties took advantage of the first day of the NFL rookie free agency signing period Tuesday.

Former Richmond Spider Martin Parker was projected to be taken in the NFL draft.  He did not hear his name called, but his phone quickly rang Tuesday.  The defensive tackle signed with the New York Giants. The First Team All-CAA Football selection led all CAA Football defensive linemen in tackles (8.7 per game) and was second overall in the league in total sacks (5.5) and total TFL (13.5) this year. He posted five double-digit tackle games, including 13 versus Delaware and 12 versus Towson.

For the first time since 2004, a VUU player signed an NFL contract. Former Panther David Mims announced he was headed to Kansas City. The 6-8 offensive lineman from Charlotte anchored a VUU offensive line which allowed Panther runners to rush for 1,884 yards in 2010 and set a school-record 490 rushing yards against Virginia State University in 2009. The last Union player to be on an NFL roster was Philadelphia Eagle Jerome Leslie.

Seven former Hokies signed Tuesday, including two Richmond natives.  Varina High's Davon Morgan will be a Jet, and Meadowbrook's John Graves is headed to Houston.  The five other Hokies are Darren Evans (Colts), Steven Friday (Texans), Andre Smith (Bears), Brian Saunders (Jaguars), Chris Hazley (Bills) and Beau Warren (Rams).

Three former Virginia football players signed NFL free agent contracts today.  Danny Aiken (Buffalo), Dontrelle Inman (Jacksonville) and Zane Parr (Houston) have all signed free agent contracts.

The first day of NFL veteran free agency is Friday.

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