Paul Kruger, Mormon NFL players and the off-season circus

Paul Kruger just became a very rich man.

Former Baltimore linebacker Paul Kruger (99) sacks Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck in the 2012 playoffs. Kruger just signed with the Cleveland Browns. (AP)

The Clevenad Browns just lured Kruger, a Utah native, away from the Baltimore Ravens in a five-year deal reportedly worth about $40 million, according to multiple sources.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article Tuesday recapping Kruger’s recruitment by Urban Meyer, his LDS mission, his college career, and his emergence with the Ravens.

Kruger had a breakout season in 2012. After getting nine sacks during the regular season, he was a disruptive force in the postseason and twice sacked San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the Super Bowl as Baltimore held off the 49ers to win the title. This article on shares the details of his introduction to the media in Cleveland.

While Kruger received good news, another former Utah Ute received bad news. It was recently announced that Sione Pouha, also a Mormon, will be released by the New York Jets. Several media outlets, including, reported that Pouha will be released to give the Jets $3.8 million in cap space.

Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, is another LDS athlete who is generating buzz as the NFL draft approaches. Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel wrote this article describing Ansah’s journey from Ghana to BYU. Ansah is predicted to be a high first round pick, according to

Another Latter-day Saint in recent headlines is former BYU tight end Dennis Pitta. reports that the Ravens have issued a second-round tender offer to Pitta, who caught 61 passes for 669 yards last year. If he signs, he’ll receive a $2.023 million salary in 2013.


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