Later today, Sam Bergen, former Rutgers fullback, will sign a free-agent contract with the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. Sam received the offer after participating in their rookie mini-camp this past weekend.
If added to the final roster this fall, Sam will join Titan's fullback Jalston Fowler, who is entering his second season in the league. Fowler appeared in every game last season, and is the only other fullback on the roster.
Bergen, who finished his career last fall as a sixth-year senior, gained an extra year of eligibility due to missing two seasons due to injury. The Pennsylvania native provided support mainly as a lead blocker and/or special teams early in his career, and with the graduation of Michael Burton and his subsequent move to the Detroit Lions in 2014, finally had his first carry in the disappointing 2015 Scarlet Knights season. Bergen had a big play in the huge come-from-behind win against Indiana out in Bloomington this past November, when a fake punt was carried by him to a crucial first down.
A true fullback, Bergen’s size (5’11", 248 lbs) fits the in-your-face style he plays on the field, and was always in contention as one of the physically strongest players on the team. That contrasts with his focus on academics, where he earned his degree in economics was an Academic All-Big Ten for both seasons he played in the conference.
This was not a big year for Rutgers players drafted, as the only Scarlet Knight chosen in the NFL Draft held April 28-30 was wide receiver Leonte Carroo. However, he will become the fourth player to sign a free agent contract since the draft was held last month. Previously, the Bills, Seahawks, and Eagles have all signed former Rutgers players to free agent contracts with Keith Lumpkin, Steve Longa, and Quentin Gause, respectively .
Three additional Scarlet Knights are still attempting to sign on with squads, as Savon Huggins, Paul James, and Gary Nova have all had tryouts in rookie minicamps, so far without success.
Bergen will join two other Scarlet Knights on the squad, both of whom were fan favorites while at Rutgers: wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, and cornerback Jason McCourty. Other Big Ten rookies on the Titans squad at this point includes offensive tackle Jack Conklin (Michigan State), nose tackle Austin Johnson (Penn State), and tackle Tyler Marz (Wisconsin).