wrestler, NFL, Buffalo Bills, Gable Steveson

Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler Signs With Buffalo Bills Despite Never Having Played Football

The Miami Dolphins were reportedly also interested in wrestler Gable Stevenson.

Two-time NCAA-winning wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson is making the move on to football. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Steveson has signed with the Buffalo Bills as a potential defensive line player — despite never having played football before. 

The Bills confirmed that Steveson will join its roster after releasing punter Matt Haack. The 23-year-old wrestler signed a one-year contract, which is standard for rookies. Reports also suggested that the Miami Dolphins were interested in Steveson, but the Bills won out on the contract.

The wrestler has found success in the athletic department throughout high school, college, and his professional career but has never played football before. His first time was when he began working out with the Buffalo Bills.

Stevenson told ESPN, “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.

“I am grateful to Coach [Sean] McDermott, [general manager] Brandon Beane, and the Buffalo Bills organization for giving me this opportunity.” 

McDermott is confident in the 6-foot-1, 275-pound Steveson’s ability to catch on to the game. McDermott has a championship high school wrestling background and believes Stevenson’s talents are transferable to the defensive line. 

The Bills were impressed with his physicality and raw athletic talent, which will put him comfortably on the short list of practice squad candidates in the 2024 season. 

Steveson attended the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he won a gold medal and made history as the youngest to ever do so at 21 years old. He was a super heavyweight competitor. 

His achievements mean that if he goes on to win a Super Bowl with the Bills, he could potentially join fellow athlete Bob Hayes as the only other athlete to have a gold medal and a Super Bowl win.

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