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Plenty of movement among former Illini in NFL

A lot of names in newish places.

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

We’ve already updated you on the likes of Jihad Ward and Dawuane Smoot joining and re-signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Special Teams aficionado Justin Hardee will be suiting up for the New York Jets.

Here’s an update on some other Illini Alums and where they’re headed in 2021.

Ted Karras — Guard/Center

NFL: New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After a 1-year stint with the Miami Dolphins as their starting center in every game last season, Karras returns to the New England Patriots — the team that drafted him and the team he suited up for his first four seasons in the NFL.

The Patriots have been the most active team this offseason, and Karras is part of a changing of the guard in New England with all of this incoming talent.

His deal is for 1 year, $4 million.

Hardy Nickerson — Linebacker/Special Teams

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Hardy Nickerson spent three years with the California Golden Bears before joining Illinois for his final year of collegiate football. He now re-joins his college coaches Lovie Smith and Miles Smith in the pros at the Houston Texans.

Nickerson was on the Minnesota Vikings last year, playing mostly on special teams with a start at middle linebacker late in the season.

The deal is for 1 year, the amount not known at this point.

Malik Turner — Wide Receiver/Special Teams

Turner has re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys on another 1-year deal. He played sparingly a season ago.

Tavon Wilson — Strong Safety/Special Teams

NFL: New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The wise, old professor of this group — Tavon Wilson will be playing in his tenth NFL season this coming Fall. After four years in New England, followed by four years in Detroit with the Lions, and last year with the Indianapolis Colts, Wilson is finally ready to play in some better weather with the San Francisco 49ers.

A veteran presence who is past his prime, he can still contribute as a rotational strong safety and as a special teams plug and play defensive back.