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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mortensen to work out with Bills

Former Kansas linebacker Joe Mortensen will work out in a mini-camp for the Buffalo Bills.

Former Kansas linebacker Joe Mortensen will work out in a mini-camp for the Buffalo Bills.

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Mortensen scheduled to attend Buffalo mini-camp

Just 24 hours after James Holt and Mike Rivera signed free agent contracts, former KU linebacker Joe Mortensen will receive his shot in the NFL as well.

Joe Mortensen, a former first-team all-Big 12 linebacker for the Kansas University football team, is scheduled to attend a three-day mini-camp with the Buffalo Bills in New York this weekend, he said Tuesday.

"(Former KU tight end) Derek Fine is up there now, and he put in a good word for me," said Mortensen, when reached by phone. "It runs Friday and I'll be back Sunday, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited."

Despite reports that some NFL teams evaluated him as a fullback during the Jayhawks' Pro Day last month, Mortensen said the Bills are considering him at the linebacker position, where he starred during a five-year career at Kansas and led the team in tackles during the Jayhawks' Orange Bowl-championship 2007 season.

At the same time, the Concord, Calif.-native said he's open to the idea of playing fullback, a position he occasionally played in high school.

"I love playing linebacker, that's what I've always played," said Mortensen, who despite playing through various injuries in 2008, managed 90 tackles (eight for loss). "But either way, I get to hit people."

Mortensen said Tuesday that he's been contacted by a handful of other NFL teams, including the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. Following his trip to Buffalo, he said, he'll speak with his agent about his available options.

Two of his fellow linebackers, meanwhile, have already signed free agent deals — James Holt with the San Diego Chargers and Mike Rivera with the Chicago Bears — and Mortensen hopes to join them on an NFL roster sooner rather than later.

"I'm very happy for both of them," he said. "Chicago's a great place, San Diego's a great place. Now, I'm kind of getting antsy. I'm ready to go."

Comments

nnelson 10 years, 8 months ago

I heard former Jayhawk Brandon Perkins is also working out with the Bills. http://tinyurl.com/brandon-perkins

Corkwis 10 years, 8 months ago

Speaking as probably the biggest Bills fan in Kansas, all I can say is that I really really hope the Bills pick him up. They have an open spot at Outside Linebacker (although they could shift Posluzny and Mitchell around). I love Mortensen's attitude and think he would be a fine pick up for the Bills.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 8 months ago

I love the picture of him. Arms out wide ready to swoop in and wrap up the ball carrier and drive him into the dirt the way you're taught to tackle in high school. Get low, wrap up, and drive through.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I think Joe will be an outstanding special teams guy like a Greg Manusky or Mike Maslowski to start out his NFL career. He is one of the most driven and aggressive guys to walk through the KU program so I wouldn't doubt his potential to be a regular contributor somewhere. Like I said with Holt and Rivera, if you are going to be a free agent rookie, linebacker is the spot to do it. Stars like James Harrison and Bart Scott were free agent rookie and now they are rich men. Heck even Adalius Thomas was a 6th rounder.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 8 months ago

Man, I freakin' loved this guy. He was a gamer. You know that guy on the team that has to just nut up and kick somebodies ass so that the rest of the team will get psyched up and go with it? Yeah, that was Joe. I hope somebody picks him up.

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