Former Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey is back in the NFL, signing a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. This would come shortly after Ivey and several other former Gators participated in the team's pro day last Wednesday.
Ivey played for Florida from 2015-18 and was one of the bookends for the team's offensive line to go along with Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Ivey played both tackle and guard during his four-year career at Florida, starting 44 games in total, including all 13 during his last season with the program.
Ivey went on to earn second-team All-SEC honors twice during his collegiate career in 2017 and 2018. He would also earn Freshman All-SEC in 2015. Coming out of high school, Ivey was billed as the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect in the class.
Following an up-and-down career at Florida, Ivey would go undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, ultimately signing with the New England Patriots shortly following. He was released during the team's final roster cuts. Following his short stint with the Patriots, Ivey opted to enter the 2020 XFL Draft, a league now defunct.
Now, after a full year out of football, Ivey returns to the NFL, signing with the Panthers. He would participate in the team's pro day, with other current and former Gators, trying to put themselves at the forefront of NFL front office and scouts' minds.
Shortly following the event, current Gators head coach Dan Mullen was asked about allowing former players to participate with the team at its pro day.
"Yeah, it's great. You want guys to have opportunities to go live their dreams," Mullen said when asked about having former players work out.
"Some teams will call and usually I don't want to slow the process down for everybody. But we have some teams call and say, 'Hey, can this guy come get a workout in and workout for us?' And we're like 'absolutely' to have them come back here.
"A lot of times they haven't played in a little bit or they've been out of the mix. So it's an opportunity to see them and what they can do and that they can still play."
It appears that opportunity has turned into a reward for Ivey who will get at least one more shot at cracking an NFL team's roster.