Former Minnesota Gopher TE Brevyn Spann-Ford Heads to Dallas for 2024

Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford (88) catches a pass for a touchdown during the NCAA football game against the Purdue Boilermakers, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue Boilermakers won 49-30.

Brevyn Spann-Ford did not hear his name this weekend during the 2024 NFL Draft. The hulking tight end was identified as a potential day three pick, but ultimately, no team decided to draft the former Golden Gopher.

However, the tight end did not have to wait long to receive a call from an interested team after the draft. The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly signing the TE to a deal that includes $225,000 in guaranteed salary with a $20,000 signing bonus on top.

The $245,000 in total guarantees given to Spann-Ford is one of the highest numbers we’ve seen given to a UDFA thus far. Wide receiver Xavier Weaver and running backs Blake Watson and Kendall Milton are the only players to receive more guaranteed money than Spann-Ford after going undrafted.

Spann-Ford’s guarantees are also more than any given out by the Cowboys in 2023. This level of commitment signifies the team’s belief that the former Gopher can be an NFL contributor.

Brevyn Spann-Ford Was a Big Piece of the Golden Gopher Offense

Brevyn Spann-Ford
Jan 30, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford of Minnesota (88) grabs a pass as National defensive back Kitan Oladapo of Oregon State (28) chases the play during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Spann-Ford spent five seasons with the Golden Gophers. The TE collected 95 catches for 1,061 yards and seven touchdowns during his career. The 6-foot-6 TE also improved as a run blocker in 2023, adding to his value in the NFL.

The TE’s best game in 2023 came against the Purdue Boilermakers. The massive TE caught five passes for 59 yards and a TD in a losing effort for the Golden Gophers. Only receivers Daniel Jackson and Corey Crooms Jr. finished the 2023 season with more catches and receptions than Spann-Ford.

How Does the TE Fit in with the Dallas Cowboys?

Mar 1, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford (TE13) works out during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, it seems Spann-Ford will have a decent chance at making the Cowboys’ roster. Currently, the team has Jake Ferguson and Luke Schoonmaker penciled in as the starters at TE. Behind that duo are Peyton Hendershot, Princeton Fant, and John Stephens Jr.

Ferguson and Schoonmaker should be locks to make the roster, but most teams keep three or four at the position. With a strong training camp and preseason, Spann-Ford could easily find his way onto the back of the roster. The former Gopher’s size and ability to be a mismatch from the slot, as well as his hefty guarantees, should give him a leg-up on the competition.

How Did the Other Golden Gophers Fare in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Aug 31, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Tyler Nubin (27) celebrates a stop against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the fourth quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Former standout safety Tyler Nubin was the lone Gopher to be drafted. Nubin was selected with the 47th overall pick by the New York Giants. The talented defender should compete for a starting role immediately after Xavier McKinney departed in free agency.

While Nubin was the only draftee, several Gophers have agreed to deals with teams. Defensive lineman Kyler Baugh signed with the New Orleans Saints while Corey Crooms joined Spann-Ford in Dallas. Receiver Chris Autman-Bell received an invitation to Minicamp with the New York Giants.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Sports Reference CFB.