Ortiz Unable to Sign Free Agent Contract, Trains for Mini-Camps

Published by Robert S Samuels on May 02, 2012 at 3:12AM

Coming into this year's NFL Draft, defensive tackle Josue Ortiz ’11 thought that a late-round selection was a possibility.

At the very least, the former Harvard standout expected to sign a free agent contract, even telling The Crimson last week that he would be “shocked” if he had not signed somewhere by May 1.

“Before the draft, I had been contacted by several teams just discussing potentially being drafted or being offered a free agent contract,” Ortiz said Tuesday afternoon. “During the draft, I got one phone call [from the Patriots] just seeing what my situation was.”

But things didn’t turn out as Ortiz had hoped.

Ultimately not taken in the draft, which ran from April 26-28, Ortiz failed to sign a free agent contract afterwards.

The 6’5”, 253-pound defensive tackle believed he wasn't signed in part because, based on player evaluations, “There was a high quantity of players who also have the same skill set that I do.”

But NFL teams are still interested in the reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Ortiz will participate in rookie mini-camps with the New York Jets this coming weekend and with the Chicago Bears from May 10-12.

“They call it a tryout, so presumably if you do well enough, they’ll sign me afterwards,” Ortiz said. “It’s just a competition, and I’m just focused on being as ready as I can be.”

Ortiz’s teammate, senior left tackle Kevin Murphy, signed a free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday and will partake in his team’s mini-camps starting either May 10 or 11.