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Penn State Football

Multiple Former Penn State Players Cut from NFL Rosters

Penn State DT PJ Mustipher
Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle PJ Mustipher (97) November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

The yearly hardship of NFL preseason roster cuts took its toll on multiple former Penn State players Tuesday.

Ten former PSU players are set to be free agents or could be on their way.

The two biggest names released by teams are veterans Jesse James and Amani Oruwariye.

James signed with the Saints this off-season before being let go just a few months later. The most prominent stretch of James’s career was a three-year stint with the Steelers from 2015-18. He also spent time with the Lions, Bears and Browns.

Oruwariye also had the highlights of his career come with Detroit, where he became a starting cornerback and intercepted six passes in 2021. He was cut by Detroit the next season before being released by the Giants.

Other players are:

– Blake Gillikin, waived by the Saints. Gillikin became the starting punter in 2022 but didn’t receive a qualifying offer after last season. He signed a free-agent deal with New Orleans this offseason.

– Nick Bowers, waived by the Bengals. Bowers spent two years with Cincinnati’s practice squad after two years as a tight end on the Raiders’ roster.

– Tariq Castro-Fields, released by the Commanders. Castro-Fields, a cornerback, signed with the team in 2022 after being cut from the 49ers practice squad the same season.

– Michal Menet, waived by the Falcons. The offensive lineman spent a full season with the Seattle Sea Dragons of the XFL before being brought on to Atlanta’s practice squad this offseason.

– Brandon Smith, released by the Panthers.  Smith was a linebacker for Carolina for the past year after being taken in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

– PJ Mustipher, waived by the Broncos. The undrafted rookie defensive lineman was brought on to the Denver roster during the offseason. It was reported that Denver will keep Mustipher for the team’s practice squad if he is unclaimed on waivers.

– Jonathan Sutherland, waived/injured by the Seahawks. Sutherland served as a defensive back for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League before being brought on with Seattle.

– Zack Kuntz, released by the Jets. Kuntz played tight end at Penn State before finishing his career at Old Dominion. He was selected in the seventh round of this year’s draft.

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