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Several Lions Sign Free Agent Contracts

With six players drafted and six having signed free agent contracts so far, an even dozen players have a shot at the next level.

Koa Farmer warms up with a football before a game. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Following the NFL Draft there were a handful of Penn State players waiting by their phones. Ryan Bates was projected to be chosen but the draft came and went without his name being called. Bates signed a free agent contract with Philadelphia.

Jonathan Thomas, a special teams hero, signed with Cincinnati. Thomas did not get many opportunities outside of special teams, but his athleticism will give him a shot to make a roster. At least for now, he remains a football player, and now he is one that receives a paycheck.

Long-snapper Kyle Vasey will be taking his talent to Atlanta. Kevin Givens signed with San Francisco and will be rubbing shoulders with former Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa.

DeAndre Thompkins will be heading to Philadelphia alongside Bates. Thompkins’ career was up and down, but his speed and ability to get off the line of scrimmage got him a look at the pro level.

One player that never seemed to get the respect that he deserved outside of the locker room, Koa Farmer, will have a chance to continue his playing career in Oakland. He will join fellow former Penn State linebacker Jason Cabinda in California.

Farmer returned kicks, played safety, space linebacker, then inside linebacker, all while being one of the smartest players on the field. Farmer’s knowledge of the game surpasses his athletic ability, which is considerable. Farmer ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at Penn State’s pro day and also did 25 reps on the bench press. Brent Pry showed a great deal of trust in Farmer, as he was in the starting lineup for the final 27 games of his career, dating back to the Rose Bowl.

Farmer was not appreciated by many fans. The coaches, players, and NFL scouts all understand what he brings to the table. Good job Koa, and congrats to all of the players that were drafted or signed free agent contracts!