May 02, 2016

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) As Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker predicted in an emotional speech made to family and friends after going undrafted last weekend, the sun has risen on his opportunity to pursue an NFL career.

Striker was among 14 undrafted rookie free agents reaching deals to sign with the Buffalo Bills on Monday.

At 6-feet and 221 pounds, Striker went undrafted despite being a three-year starter, and finishing with 46 1/2 tackles for a loss and 23 sacks. He was also noted for his leadership abilities in earning Oklahoma's Bob Kalsu Award last year.

The award is named after the former Sooner offensive lineman, who played the 1968 season with the Bills and named the team's rookie of the year. Kalsu then left the team to honor his ROTC obligation with the U.S. Army and was killed by mortar fire in Vietnam.

On Saturday, a video emerged of Striker tearfully thanking family and friends for being with him through the draft process.

''I know my mom and my dad are a little hurt. Some of you all are hurt, too,'' Striker said, with his voice cracking. ''Don't get caught up in the NFL moment because you know the sun will rise. There's so much potential for me.''

The Bills also agreed to sign Kansas State fullback Glenn Gronkowski, the younger brother of New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Other notable additions were Marshall receiver Davonte Allen and Arizona State receiver Gary Chambers.

Also agreeing to terms with the Bills were: linebacker Bryson Albright (Miami, Ohio), defensive end Claudell Louis (Fresno State), defensive tackle Justin Zimmer (Ferris State), defensive back Julian Whigham (Syracuse), offensive linemen Robert Kugler (Purdue), Jamison Lalk (Iowa State), Marquis Lucas (West Virginia) and Keith Lumpkin (Rutgers), kicker Marshall Morgan (Georgia) and long-snapper Reid Ferguson (LSU).

The Bills also freed room on their roster by cutting three players, including defensive end Jarius Wynn, who missed all of last season with a knee injury. Also cut were cornerback Merrill Noel and center Ronald Patrick.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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