Jayhawk linebacker Joe Mortensen will tryout with the Buffalo Bills
It looks like the final piece to the Jayhawk linebacking puzzle in 2008 will get his shot at an NFL roster spot. Joe Mortensen a former Jayhawk and All Big 12 performer will workout with the Buffalo Bills this coming weekend according to the Lawrence Journal World.
Mortensen's story has been well documented and is a great one and again I'm hopeful that maybe he can get a shot and stick somewhere. Much of what I mentioned regarding Rivera and the circumstances surrounding his senior year would also apply to Joe as well. Joe had offseason knee surgery following his senior year and at one point late in the season it was mentioned that redshirting had been an option due to that very surgery this past season. His desire to go out with "his group" and help the team win last year ended in his choice to play at what may have been less than 100%.
Now don't get me wrong Joe doesn't necessarily have the same size and athleticism that Rivera has but he is a competitor. Any Jayhawk fan can certainly say they appreciated what he brought to the field every weekend and hopefully he can show an NFL organization that he's worth a roster spot.
Mortensen will join the Bills this Friday for a camp that runs through Sunday and he'll be doing his best to prove himself as a linebacker that deserves a shot at camp. The former Jayhawk will also have a familiar face to welcome him to Buffalo in another Jayhawk Derek Fine. Fine was drafted by the Bills last season, made the squad and saw action throughout the season.
Along with Buffalo it also appears that the Broncos and Panthers have expressed interest in Mortensen. I would love to see him end up here in Denver and stick. The defense needs a lot of help and it would give me something to root for in the hometown team. Denver, Buffalo or Carolina would all be great though and I wish Joe the best going into his first real life "job interview" with the Bills. Once again this is an uphill battle but as we all know Joe's been through some of those already in his life.