FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Wide receiver Daiveun Curry-Chapman and safety Matt Estrada both agreed to sign free agent contracts with NFL teams on Monday and are expected to sign with their teams this week after the Tuesday deadline when the free agent signing period begins.
"Finally," said Curry-Chapman late Monday. "It is a dream come true for me. It has been my dream since I was a little kid to be a professional athlete. To go to the NFL and play at the highest level is amazing."
Curry-Chapman agreed to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, who train on the Northern Arizona campus. He is the fourth former Lumberjack to sign as a free agent with the Cardinals since 2000 joining quarterback Preston Parsons, offensive lineman Robert Haws and running back Roger Robinson to play for the home state team in training camp.
"I am going to be very familiar with the environment with the locker rooms and the field," said Curry-Chapman. "It will make it a lot more comfortable for me. I always thought it would be crazy if I got picked up by the Cardinals."
Curry-Chapman, a native of Corona, Calif., saw action in 41 games with 19 starts for the Lumberjacks. He recorded 107 receptions for 1,066 yards and 13 touchdowns during h is career. He had a breakout season in 2010, earning All-Big Sky second team selection after leading the league in receptions per game with 6.3 (14th in FCS) and ranked sixth in receiving yards per game at 67.1 (47th in FCS). He led the team in receptions (69), receiving yards (738) and receiving touchdowns (6), recording back-to-back 100-yard games against Weber State and Portland State to end the season
Estrada will join the Jacksonville Jaguars. A two-year team captain, Estrada was named most valuable defensive player, defensive backfield player of the year and outstanding junior at team banquet in 2009 after leading the team with 78 tackles with a team-best 47 solo tackles, earning All-Big Sky first team honors. In 2010, he recorded 51 tackles and ranked among the Big Sky leaders in punt and kick returns, earning All-Big Sky second-team honors.
NAU has had 10 players sign free agent contracts with NFL teams since 2000. Keith O'Neil, who signed and played with the Dallas Cowboys, won a Super Bowl ring with the Indianapolis Colts. K.J. Gerard, who originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens, is currently with the Chicago Bears entering training camp.
Quarterback Michael Herrick could also be signed to a free agent deal after his outstanding career at NAU.
NAU Free Agent Signees Since 2000
Preston Parsons, Arizona Cardinals, 2002
Robert Haws, Arizona Cardinals, 2002
Keith O'Neil, Dallas Cowboys, 2003
Mark Gould, New York Giants, 2004
Jeremy Thornburg, Philadelphia Eagles, 2005
Roger Robinson, Arizona Cardinals, 2005
K.J. Gerard, Baltimore Ravens, 2009
Robbie Dehaze, Atlanta Falcons, 2009
Daiveun Curry-Chapman, Arizona Cardinals, 2011
Matt Estrada, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2011