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Syracuse in the NFL: 2017 regular season recap

So how’d everyone do this year?

NFL: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s regular season wrapped up on Sunday, and with that, so did the seasons of the Syracuse Orange football alums currently in the league. Rather than recap week 17, we’ll instead look at full season production for the active former SU players.

Here’s how Syracuse players fared this year:

Jay Bromley, DT, New York Giants

As a regular in the Giants’ tackle rotation, he managed 21 tackles and a sack in 16 games. His season-best effort was a four-tackle game against Washington on Thanksgiving. Bromley’s at the end of his rookie deal with the Giants and this wasn’t exactly the monster season he’d planned for.

Riley Dixon, P, Denver Broncos

Dixon was pressed into action more this year with the Broncos’ offense struggling. However, he still did pretty well in an uneven effort. The second-year punter averaged 45.6 yards (14th in the league), and was near the top of the league in fair catches and did pretty well pinning punts inside the 20 as well.

Dwight Freeney, DE, Detroit Lions

He managed three tackles all year (with Seattle) and they were all sacks, but Detroit didn’t find much use for him. One would have to think that the long-time pass-rusher’s career is probably done given how tough it was to catch on somewhere in 2017.

NFL: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Chandler Jones, LB, Arizona Cardinals

Jones had five sacks over the season’s final five weeks (including two in the finale) to take the NFL’s sack crown with a total of 17.5 on the year. He also defended three passes and forced two fumbles. He’s on the short list for defensive player of the year honors -- a huge achievement for him as he continues to solidify his place as one of the league’s top players.

Cameron Lynch, LB, Los Angeles Rams

After a season in which Lynch was minimally used by two different teams (Buccaneers, Rams), there are some questions about where he can end up going forward. He had just eight tackles this year, and two of those were for L.A., who benched most starters in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers.

Justin Pugh, OL, New York Giants

He played well when he was healthy, but unfortunately this contract year was not without issue for Pugh. Given persistent and severe back issues, he ended up on injured reserve. We’ll see if the Giants end up resigning the obvious asset or not.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Shamarko Thomas, S, Buffalo Bills

#SHAMARKO had eight tackles on the year and contributed sparingly. However, he should have some more time to prove he’s a long-term option at safety for the Bills, since they’re headed to the playoffs now (celebrate as you deem fit below, Buffalo fans; sorry we’re out of tables here). He had eight tackles in 12 games for the Bills.


Though not on active rosters during the season, it’s also worth noting the other Orange players still trying to make their NFL dreams happen (or happen again, in some cases).

Amba Etta-Tawo was just signed to a reserve/futures contract with the Giants, and Brisly Estime is technically still with the Jets following his spring ACL tear. Arthur Jones ended up on injured reserve with Washington this year as well.

Sean Hickey is currently a member of the Dolphins’ practice squad (where he’s been since September).