NFL players are signed and released every single day, but it isn’t often that one former Hawkeye replaces another.
That’s exactly what happened Thursday when the New England Patriots announced its decision to release linebacker A.J. Edds and replace him on the 53-man roster with practice squad player and former Iowa teammate Jeff Tarpinian.
The Patriots claimed Edds off of waivers earlier this month from the Miami Dolphins. The former Second Team All-Big Ten linebacker for the Hawkeyes was selected by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, but missed all of the 2010 season after tearing his ACL in training camp.
Edds made appearances in the first two regular season games for the Patriots this season, recording one tackle.
Tarpinian joined New England as an undrafted free agent. He was released on Sept. 12, but was then signed to the Patriots practice squad two days later.
New England expects Tarpinian to not only be an option at linebacker, but also add versatility to special teams. The former Hawkeye battled injuries during his college career but when healthy proved to be solid both as a defender and special teams player.
Hawkeye fans will certainly remember the hit Tarpinian put on Michigan kick returner Darryl Stonum in 2009.
Former Hawkeye and current Cleveland Brown offensive lineman Eric Steinbach will miss the entire 2011 NFL season after undergoing back surgery Tuesday to repair a bulging disk.
Steinbach served as an extremely durable anchor for the Browns offensive line, playing each of the last two seasons without missing a single game. Over the past eight seasons, Steinbach has started 124 games.
The former Hawkeye’s quickness and ability to open holes translated into success for Browns running back Peyton Hillis, who ran for a career-best 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Steinbach earned Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2002, and was selected by the Bengals in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He’s been with the Browns since 2007.