Gold medal wrestler Steveson signing with Bills

Sports

Gable Steveson, an Olympic gold medalist and one of the most dominant college wrestlers in NCAA history, is jumping to the NFL to sign with the Buffalo Bills, his agent Carter Chow told ESPN.

Steveson is signing the standard rookie three-year deal and he now will set out to join Bob Hayes as the only athlete ever to win a Super Bowl ring and an Olympic gold medal.

Steveson knows the learning curve will be steep but is excited for the opportunity.

“I have been fortunate to compete at the highest level of competition in my sport but am looking forward to the challenge of seeing how my wrestling skills may translate to football,” Steveson said. “I am grateful to Coach (Sean) McDermott, (general manager) Brandon Beane and the Buffalo Bills organization for giving me this opportunity.”

The 6-foot-1, 275-pound Steveson is expected to play defensive line, something he hasn’t done before during his athletic career. In fact, the first time Steveson ever put on a pair of cleats was at a recent workout for the Bills.

But Bills head coach Sean McDermott — who has a championship high school wrestling background — wanted Steveson to play defensive line and he believes he has the potential it takes to make an impact. The Bills were impressed with his level of talent, but also know how raw he is, which makes him a potential ideal practice squad candidate in 2024.

The Bills were not the only team that expressed interest in signing Steveson, according to Chow of Red Envelope Sports. Others did as well, but the Bills have had an excellent track record of getting the most of defensive tackles with statures similar to Stevenson’s. His stature has served him in well in wrestling.

Steveson won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He returned to school and was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 2022. During his college career at the University of Minnesota, Steveson won two National championships, three Big-Ten Conference championships and was a two-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner, which is the Heisman Trophy of college wrestling.

How Steveson got to football is another story. Chow is friendly with prominent MMA managers Dave Martin and Rich Chou at The MAG Agency. They have worked with many Olympic, UFC and WWE athletes over the years, including Steveson. Chow and Steveson were introduced as NFL opportunities began to surface. Once they did, Steveson opted for the Bills, and he now will set out to go from gold medalist to NFL player.

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