February is usually a quiet month for pro football outside of the Super Bowl, but former Virginia Tech football players are having a big month collectively. From making big plays to win Super Bowl LIV to eight-figure contract extensions and the first touchdown for a new XFL team, former Hokies are leaving their mark.
Here's a recap of what we've seen so far.
Kendall Fuller Shines in the Super Bowl
You probably already saw or heard about what Kendall Fuller did in the Super Bowl with a great pass breakup that shut down San Francisco's second-to-last drive followed by an interception to seal a Super Bowl victory for Kansas City.
While those were the highlight reel plays, Fuller also graded out as the best defensive player in the Super Bowl with it also grading as the best game of his career according to Pro Football Focus.
Fuller finished the Super Bowl with 4 tackles, 1 interceptions, 2 pass deflections, and most importantly, the title Super Bowl LIV champion always attached to his name.
Fuller's big game on the biggest stage also comes at a big time in his career as the former Virginia Tech defensive back is set to enter free agency this offseason. Fuller did have to deal with some injuries this past season, but his Super Bowl performance reminded people that when Fuller is at his best, he's one of the best nickel cornerbacks in the NFL.
The big question that remains is whether Fuller will be back in Kansas City? At this point, that is definitely up in the air given how the Chiefs will have to figure out their long-term salary cap situation with several talented players free agents. However, even if Fuller doesn't return to KC, he'll leave town with a Super Bowl ring and head to a new team with a well-earned, long-term contract.
Chuck Clark Receives Major Contract Extension
After earning a niche/backup role upon his arrival with the Baltimore Ravens, Chuck Clark worked his way into a starting role this past season and impressed with 68 tackles, 1 interception, 9 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 tackles for loss including 1 sack.
Clark showed his value pairing with Earl Thomas at safety for the Ravens and now, Baltimore has committed to the 757 native and former Virginia Tech DB for the foreseeable future.
The #Ravens signed S Chuck Clark to three-year contract extension worth $19M, source said. He gets $10M in guarantees, as Baltimore keeps taking care of the future now.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 10, 2020
Ravens gave safety Chuck Clark a three-year, $15.3 million extensiion, per source. It now ties Clark to the Ravens for the next four years at $16 million.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 10, 2020
Clark has received a 3-year contract extension worth anywhere from $15-19 million depending on the report. More importantly, Clark has received an impressive 8-figure guarantee at $10 million.
Clark has absolutely earned a contract like this that gives him immense financial stability regardless of what may happen over the next three years. Of course, what seems most likely is that Clark will continue to improve and be a major part of a Ravens team that will be a top Super Bowl contender once again next fall.
The deal also caps off what has been a fantastic past several months for Clark who has also become a father over the past year.
There are few players that have had as good of a past year as Chuck Clark with Clark receiving the large contract that he absolutely deserves.
Cam Phillips Shines in XFL Debut
Cam Phillips made his mark on the XFL's opening weekend with the first touchdown in franchise history for the Houston Roughnecks.
Phillips' 50-yard touchdown was the highlight of his strong XFL debut as he finished with 4 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, leading Houston in total yards of offense by a non-quarterback. Phillips' 67 receiving yards also have him fifth in the league in receiving yards after the first weekend.
Cam Phillips has received some NFL opportunities, mostly with the Buffalo Bills, but has not been able to get traction to date. If Phillips can have more performances like this, it would be hard to imagine Phillips not receiving a quality opportunity to earn an NFL roster spot from the get-go during a training camp this fall.
In addition to Phillips, Ricky Walker and Colton Taylor made their XFL debuts for Tampa Bay and Houston. Walker made the most noise of those 2 though not for the best reasons as he became the first player in the new XFL to be ejected after throwing a punch at an opponent on New York's XFL team.