Matt Simon just wanted a chance.
Monday, he got it, in the form of a tryout offer from the New Orleans Saints. Simon, the former Northern Illinois wide receiver, will participate in the tryout next weekend at the team’s rookie minicamp.
“I’m excited about it,” Simon said. “Like I said from the beginning, I was just looking for an opportunity and I’m going to treat it the same way as if I got drafted. I’m going to go in and run with it.”
Simon wasn’t the only former Huskie to catch on with an NFL team after this weekend’s NFL Draft. Wide receiver Britt Davis signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets. Davis could not be reached for comment.
The week before the draft, NIU coach Jerry Kill said he thought a handful of Huskies would make it to NFL mini-camp squads. One of Kill’s former players at Saginaw Valley State, linebacker Paul Spicer, went that route and now is entering his 12th season with an NFL team.
“If you’re going to be a 7th-round pick, why not be a free agent?” Kill said. “You can go to the right team. Paul Spicer did the same kind of thing.”
Davis had 14 catches for 113 yards last season. He had a breakout sophomore season in 2006, catching 57 passes for 731 yards, but was hurt his junior season and couldn’t get back to those sophomore year numbers.
Simon battled a foot injury for much of his senior season at NIU, but still finished second on the team in receptions with 24 catches for 377 yards. He did have a six-catch, 131-yard performance against Central Michigan. Simon ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at NIU’s pro day.