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Notre Dame in the NFL: Drue Tranquill, Alohi Gilman earn multi-year contracts

IMG_7504by:Jack Soble03/13/24

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When he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs for one year and $3 million in March 2023, former Notre Dame linebacker Drue Tranquill bet on himself. That bet paid off, first with a Super Bowl championship and now with life-changing money in the form of a multi-year contract.

Tranquill agreed to a three-year, $19 million deal on Thursday, according to multiple reports. It includes $13 million guaranteed, rewarding the ex-Irish captain after a successful season.

“I want to do it again, again and again,” Tranquill said Wednesday, according to KC Sports Network. “I feel more hungry to win a Super Bowl now than I did six months ago.”

Tranquill started nine games for Kansas City, including the AFC Championship against Baltimore, due to injuries to top linebacker Nick Bolton. He’s in line to start alongside Bolton in 2024, though, after incumbent starter Willie Gay signed a one-year deal with the Saints on Tuesday.

In 16 regular-season games, Tranquill made 79 tackles, picked up 4.5 sacks and forced 2 fumbles. He added 21 tackles in four playoff games, including 2 in Super Bowl LVIII.

Elsewhere in the AFC West, former Notre Dame safety (and also ex-Irish captain) Alohi Gilman re-signed with the Chargers for two years and $11 million, with just over $5 million guaranteed. The 2020 sixth-round pick started all 14 games he played for Los Angeles in 2023, posting a sterling 86.1 Pro Football Focus defense grade.

It was Gilman’s first full year as a starter, and he acquitted himself well on a disappointing Chargers team. New general manager Joe Horitz and head coach Jim Harbaugh saw Gilman’s tape and decided he was someone they wanted to be part of their new regime.

Gilman posted career highs in tackles (73) and interceptions (2) this past season. He’s only 26 years old, so he’ll have a chance to get paid again in two years at 28 if he continues to play well.

Tranquill and Gilman were late-round picks, which means they’ve earned modest money by NFL standards to this point in their careers. Gilman’s career earnings totaled $3,482,876, according to Over The Cap. Tranquill’s totaled $8,118,808, including the money he made this past season with the Chiefs and over his first four years with the Chargers.

Those numbers will rise considerably after Tranquill and Gilman earned multi-year veteran deals for the first time in their careers.

Former Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley reworks deal to stay with Ravens

Sticking with the theme of former Notre Dame standouts staying with their current teams, Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley has agreed to a “reworked contract,” according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The full details are unavailable, but Fowler’s understanding is that Stanley will take a pay cut that he has a chance to earn back. His base pay will be reduced in order to lower his $26.2 million cap hit, but he can reach or even exceed the original number in incentives.

Stanley, a 2019 first-team All-Pro who turns 30 this coming Monday, dealt with several injuries since that dominant season. He made 13 starts in 2023 after missing a combined 32 games in the previous three years.

While Stanley didn’t play at a high enough level to justify his massive cap hit in 2023, he played more than well enough to remain Baltimore’s starter at left tackle. As cutting him would have created a dead cap charge of $17.8 million, Stanley and the Ravens found a solution that works for both sides.

Stanley finished the season with a 68.1 PFF offense grade, including a 75.9 mark as a pass-blocker. He allowed 42 total pressures and 5 sacks in 16 games, including the postseason.

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