NFL teams sign ex-Cajuns Riles, Peters

Tim Buckley

Two undrafted UL football players, both seniors last season, have been signed to NFL rosters.

UL slot receiver Al Riles (2), making a move on an Idaho defender during a game last season, was signed Monday by the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

The Indianapolis Colts on Monday signed former Ragin’ Cajuns slot receiver Al Riles, and late last week the Seattle Seahawks announced the signing of ex-Cajuns linebacker Otha Peters.

Riles suggested on the last night of the draft that he had agreed to take part in a Seahawks rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

But he instead took part on a tryout basis with the Colts this past weekend.

To make room on its offseason roster for Riles and four other tryout players, Indianapolis waived offensive lineman Austin Blythe, cornerback Frankie Williams and three 2017 undrafted free agents.

“There have been some guys who have stood out,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said about the tryout signees, according to

“That’s what we encouraged them to do from Day 1. Don’t say, ‘Hey I’m here for two and a half days and I’m out of here because I’m a tryout guy.’ That’s the wrong mindset to come in here with.”

Related: UL Pro Day: 'The biggest interview of your life'

Riles, a 2016 first team All-Sun Belt Conference pick from Lakeshore High near New Orleans, had a team-high 60 catches for 729 yards and two touchdowns last season.

He recorded at least one catch in the last 29 consecutive games of his Cajun career, a streak dating to a 2014 season in which Riles moved from linebacker to receiver.

Peters, also a first team All-Sun Belt selection, said on the final night of last month’s NFL Draft that he had agreed to an unsigned free agent deal with the Seahawks.

Last Friday, before taking part in Seattle’s rookie minicamp, the Covington High product signed a standard non-guaranteed three-year rookie contract worth $1.67 million if he stays the Seahawks’ roster all three seasons.

More: UL's Peters ready to take shot with NFL's Seahawks

Earlier this month former UL running back Elijah McGuire — selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round of last month’s NFL Draft — signed a non-guaranteed four-year contract, potentially worth $2,568,516, according to, with a reported guaranteed signing bonus of $168,516.

Also late last week, former Cajuns and Detroit Lions defensive back Bill Bentley reportedly took part in a Chicago Bears minicamp on a tryout basis.

Bentley, a former Lions draft pick, wasn’t immediately signed by the Bears.

Undrafted 2016-season Cajun seniors who’ve taken part in minicamps this month but who have not been signed include center Eddie Gordon (Carolina), defensive lineman Karmichael Dunbar (Pittsburgh) and quarterback Anthony Jennings (New York Jets).

Related: UL's McGuire drafted by New York Jets in sixth round


The Cajuns recently revealed a couple of scheduling adjustments.

UL’s 2018 non-conference home game against New Mexico State will be played Oct. 13 of that year. The game previously was tentatively scheduled for either Sept. 8 or Oct. 6 of 2018.

Also in 2018, UL’s non-conference road game at Mississippi State has been moved from Nov. 3 to Sept. 15 of that year.

The changes mean the Cajuns’ 2018 non-conference is as follows: Sept. 1 vs. Grambling at home, Sept. 15 at Mississippi State, Sept. 29 at Alabama, Oct. 13 vs. New Mexico State at home.

In 2017, UL plays non-conference games Sept. 2 vs. Southeastern Louisiana at home, Sept. 9 at Tulsa, Sept. 16 at Texas A&M and Nov. 11 at Ole Miss.


The date and start time for the 2017 New Orleans Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans recently was announced.

The postseason game will be played this year at noon (central) on Dec. 16.

As usual, the bowl game will be televised by ESPN and broadcast by ESPN Radio.

UL has played in five of the last six New Orleans Bowls. The Cajuns won their first four appearances from 2011-14, and lost last year to Southern Mississippi.

Coincidentally, the Jets — whose draft-pick McGuire played in three New Orleans Bowls — play the New Orleans Saints at noon on Dec. 17 in the Superdome.

UL's McGuire: 'I just want an opportunity'