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Former Utes, Cougars sign as NFL free agents

Published: Tuesday, July 26 2011 11:44 p.m. MDT

BYU is less than two weeks away from opening fall camp. Meanwhile, a host of former Cougars will soon be returning to work now that the NFL's lockout is over.

Among the intriguing storylines includes quarterback John Beck, who could be the starter for the Washington Redskins this fall.

"I'm just excited that this is done," Beck told the Washington Times.

Now that the lockout has lifted, safety Andrew Rich, offensive lineman Jason Speredon and defensive lineman Vic So'oto have been invited to training camps after going undrafted last April.

Rich and Speredon will join the Arizona Cardinals, reuniting with former teammate Max Hall, who recently finished his rookie year with the team. So'oto is headed to Green Bay.

The Baltimore Ravens have decided to release tight end Todd Heap, meaning former BYU star Dennis Pitta, who was a rookie last season, could see increased playing time this season. Pitta mainly played on special teams last season.

Several University of Utah football players will get free agent opportunities to play in the National Football League.

The signees include running back Matt Asiata (Minnesota Vikings), defensive lineman Sealver Siliga (San Francisco 49ers), return specialist/wide receiver Shaky Smithson (Green Bay Packers), defensive back Justin Taplin-Ross (Dallas Cowboys), offensive lineman Zane Taylor (New York Jets) and running back Eddie Wide (St. Louis Rams).

email: dirk@desnews.com

email: jeffc@desnews.com

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