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Pitt's Estermyer, Davis find NFL homes

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, April 26, 2009
 

Pitt long snapper Mark Estermyer has agreed to a free-agent contract with the Steelers, while Panthers guard-center C.J. Davis will sign with the Carolina Panthers.

Estermyer, a 6-foot-2, 245-pounder, was a walk-on from Blackhawk High who earned a scholarship with the Panthers. He is expected to compete with Greg Warren for the long-snapper job, with incumbent Jared Retkofsky injured.

"It's a done deal," Estermyer said. "I'm pretty excited. The Steelers were the main people that contacted me, so I decided to go with them. I've been a Steelers fan my whole life. This is a great opportunity, so hopefully I can go in and show what I can do. Whether it's to compete with Greg or give him a break, I'm going to do my best."

Davis, a 6-foot-2, 300-pounder from West Allegheny, was disappointed that he wasn't drafted after being a four-year starter at left guard before switching to center at midseason last fall. Davis will join the Panthers, which drafted former Pitt tackle Jeff Otah in the first round last year.

"I'm feeling pretty good about it," Davis said. "Hopefully, I can come in and work a miracle, like I did at Pitt."

In other free-agent news, Pitt punter Dave Brytus, a West Allegheny graduate, said he has agreed to a free-agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Brytus spent his first two seasons at Purdue – where he was a candidate for the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter – before transferring to Pitt in 2006.

Penn State outside linebacker Tyrell Sales, a Butler High School graduate, said he has agreed to a free-agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Sales said Penn State defensive end Maurice Evans is expected to sign a free-agent deal with the N.Y. Giants.

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