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Penn State in the NFL

Former Penn State Defender Released by NFL Team

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Shaka Toney

A former Penn State defensive end has been released.

The Washington Commanders parted ways with Shaka Toney.

This comes not long after he had been reinstated by the NFL following a year-long suspension for gambling.

Toney had been with the Commanders the team selected him in the seventh round of the 2021 Draft. He played in 26 of the teams 34 games from 2021-22, starting one as a rookie.

Then, last April, Toney among three players suspended for the 2023 season and possibly beyond due to betting on NFL games during the 2022 campaign.

The NFL’s policy states that NFL players and personnel cannot bet on league games or any other NFL-related activities, and can’t place bets in general when they’re at a team facility or traveling with the team.

Toney played at Penn State from 2016-20. His last season was his best. Playing on the only losing team Penn State’s had over the last 20 years, Toney earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. In 2019, the coaches voted Toney to their second team. Toney is a PA guy who played his high school football at Philly’s famous Imhotep Charter.

Despite his great 2021 season, Toney was overshadowed to an extent by teammate Jayson, —now Odafe, Oweh ahead of the 2021 draft.

But Toney impressed at that year’s Senior Bowl enough to get a glowing report from the Pro Football Network.

Shaka Toney often gets written off as the more experienced, less athletic counterpart to Jayson Oweh. That assumption does a disservice to Toney, who has immense athletic talent as well. That talent was apparent as early as high school when Toney logged a 4.62 40-yard dash and a 32.5-inch vertical at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds.


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