Sep 2, 2013
By JACK BOGACZYK
HUNTINGTON – The National Football League’s 94th season opens Thursday night, and yes, Marshall will have a presence in the season opener – and in the league elsewhere this season.
The Herd has six players in the AFC and two in the NFC.
Albert McClellan returns to the Baltimore Ravens’ defense for a third season at linebacker and on special teams, as the defending Super Bowl champions open against Denver on Thursday night. The former Herd defensive end is on a one-year, $555,000 contract.
Seven other former Thundering Herd stars are on 53-man rosters for NFL Week 1, including rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who was a second-round pick (No. 59 overall) by the Pats in the April draft.
Dobson, signed a four-year, $3.428 million contract ($1.173 million guaranteed), and figures to make his NFL debut Sunday at Buffalo – where two other former Herd stars are on the roster.
Back for a second season with the Philadelphia Eagles is defensive end Vinny Curry, who like Dobson was a late second-round pick (in 2012), also at No. 59. Curry is No. 2 on the Eagles’ depth chart and is beginning a second season on his four-year, $3.382 million deal. The Eagles open in the Monday night game at Washington.
The Indianapolis Colts have two ex-Herd players in veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw and backup inside linebacker Mario Harvey, while the Buffalo Bills have a Marshall duo, as well, with center/guard Doug Legursky and tight end Lee Smith.
Bradshaw, allowed to leave by the New York Giants as a veteran free agent, signed with the Colts in the offseason after having foot surgery in January. He signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract with Indianapolis in June.
Harvey begins the second season of his three-year, $1.44 million contract.
Bradshaw, starting his seventh NFL season, has missed the entire preseason, but Coach Chuck Pagano said Monday that Bradshaw may be available for Sunday’s opener against Oakland.
Legursky played his first four NFL season with Pittsburgh and signed a reported one-year deal with Buffalo for $900,000 in the offseason. He is listed on the Bills’ depth chart as a co-starter at left guard, with Colin Brown.
Smith begins his third season in Buffalo, where he has made 10 starts in two seasons and is the No. 2 tight end behind Scott Chandler. The 6-foot-6 ex-Herd star is in Year 3 of a four-year, $2.298 million deal.
Safety C.J. Spillman remains with the San Francisco 49ers, who lost last season’s Super Bowl to the Ravens. Spillman, starting his fifth NFL season, is the Niners’ starting free safety. He’s entering the second season in a three-year, $4.2 million deal.
San Francisco opens Sunday, playing host to Green Bay in the 49ers’ last season in Candlestick Park before moving to the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Released when teams trimmed to the 53-man roster limit on Saturday were safety Omar Brown by the Ravens and offensive lineman Daniel Baldridge by the Tennessee Titans.
Brown, who was on Baltimore’s 53-man roster for the Super Bowl – and got a championship ring – last season, then re-signed with the Ravens’ eight-man practice squad.
The Oakland Raiders waived former Herd defensive tackle Johnny Jones on Aug. 24. Jones had been on injured reserve when waived.