Three former University of Pittsburgh players came to terms on contracts as undrafted free agents, and one agreed to a tryout deal.
Tight end J.P. Holtz signed a deal with the Cleveland Browns. Holtz may see some time in the backfield as a full back or H-back hybrid due to his blocking ability. The Browns’ depth chart is rather thin at tight end, after Pro Bowler Gary Barnidge. Holtz will compete with draft pick Seth DeValve of Princeton, who was drafted in the fourth round, and holdover E.J. Bibbs.
Cornerback Lafayette Pitts chose the Miami Dolphins among the four offers his agent Evan Krakower claimed were on the table. Pitts’ best chance to crack the Dolphins roster will largely have to do with his special teams exploits, especially because Miami selected Cornerback Xavien Howard of Baylor in the second round and Penn State defensive back Jordan Lucas in the sixth. Pitts served in all four facets of the return game: kickoff and punt coverage and kickoff and punt return units. Pitts was the Panthers’ main kickoff returner as a freshman and sophomore before the arrival of Tyler Boyd.
Linebacker Nicholas Grigsby reached a deal with the Los Angeles Rams, where he will join former Pitt star and teammate, Aaron Donald, the defensive tackle who was taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Rams took linebacker Josh Forrest from Kentucky with a sixth-round pick. Grigsby’s speed —he ran a blazing 4.5 second 40-yard dash time at Pitt’s Pro Day — and coverage ability may lend itself to him trying his hand at both safety and linebacker.
Center Artie Rowell is headed out west to the Arizona Cardinals on a tryout deal. Versatility will be key for Rowell. The Cardinals drafted center Evan Boehm from Missouri in the 4th round to compete with incumbent A.Q. Shipley for the starting spot. If Rowell showcases his ability to capably swing between center and both guard spots as a backup, it might be enough to earn a roster or practice squad spot.