Mountaineers in the NFL: Kwiatkoski and Spain get paid, Robinson declares

WVU Football

While fans would be hard-pressed to find a live sporting event in the foreseeable future, but the news cycle of the sports world is still turning, especially in the NFL. The league’s offseason has still largely continued as normal, with several alumni of West Virginia University making career moves on the gridiron.

Here are some of the Mountaineer highlights of this offseason so far:

Quinton Spain re-signs with Bills

The Buffalo Bills have had quite the active offseason so far, landing top free agents and trade targets — all before the free agency period officially begins. But in the midst of their rebuild, one of the most important moves they may have made was to lock up one of their own.

Quinton Spain started all 16 games at left guard in his first season in Buffalo, allowing zero sacks en route to the team’s second playoff run in three seasons.

“I just wanted to come back to Buffalo, because I know there’s something special here and I just want to be a part of it,” Spain told “The feeling here is great. There are no superstars. Everyone is a team player. We play for the team. It’s a group that has strong chemistry and the stuff we were building, it’s awesome to be back in the locker room with that.”

Spain’s three-year, $15 million deal, the details of which were first reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, includes $4.5 million guaranteed, a $1.5 million signing bonus, and two one-year team options for the second and third years of the contract.

Nick Kwiatkoski inks three-year deal with Raiders

One of the top Mountaineer alumni in the NFL had a simple announcement for fans on his Twitter account:

The former fourth round pick enjoyed a much bigger role in his fourth season last year, getting 76 combined tackles and 3.0 sacks. That caught the eye of the now-Las Vegas Raiders, who signed the linebacker for $21 million over three years, with $13.5 million guaranteed.

Kenny Robinson declares for 2020 NFL Draft

Kenny Robinson took an unconventional route to get to the NFL, first making a stop in the second iteration of the XFL with the St. Louis Battlehawks. While the season was cut short, Robinson appeared in all five games at safety, racking up 15 tackles, 2 interceptions and a sack.

Shortly after the XFL suspended their season, Robinson made his announcement on Twitter.

“Thank you @xfl2020 and @XFLBattleHawks for the opportunity to showcase my talents and taking a chance on me,” he wrote. “I am forever thankful and grateful for everything.”

Robinson departed the program during the 2019 offseason after a 2018 in which he earned first team All-Big 12 honors after nabbing 4 interceptions and secured 77 tackles.

Other things to look out for

  • Karl Joseph just wrapped up his final season on his rookie contract with the Raiders. He’s had a bit of an up-and-down career so far, with injuries cutting into his production: while he has played as many as 15 games in 2017, he missed a career-high 7 games in 2019, which will hurt his value in free agency.
  • There have already been shakeups down in Dallas as changes come to the Cowboys’ wide receiver corps. With Amari Cooper on the docket for a big contract, funds are much, much shorter for the rest of that position group. Tavon Austin is set to become an unrestricted free agent with a lot of potential suitors at a relatively low price, coming off his last 1 year, $1.75 million deal with Dallas. While he is unlikely to become a No. 1 option for any team in the league, he is sure to provide some speed and veteran experience to a team that needs depth.
  • Geno Smith has found his career as a backup in the NFL, most recently giving a stint with the Seattle Seahawks. After finishing his rookie contract, he has bounced around the league on a series of one-year deals — so much of the same should be expected this offseason.

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