Estonia's sole current representative in the National Football League, defensive linesman Margus Hunt, has returned to his first professional team, the Cincinnati Bengals, ending a brief spell as a free agent for the man from South Estonia.
Hunt, 33, from Karksi-Nuia in Viljandi County, had been snapped up by the New Orleans Saints on the eve of the 2020 regular season start, having been released by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2019 season.
The Bengals, who originally drafted Hunt from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, invited Hunt to their facilities for a tryout on Friday.
The team's website announced on Monday night that they had reached agreement with Hunt, who is set to supplement a defensive line platoon that has been ravaged by injuries and poor play.
The Bengals themselves have not started the season well, only winning one of their first six games - ironically losing 31-27 at Indianapolis on Sunday - and remain firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC South division. The team has plenty of young talent when it comes to play-making on offense, ERR's sports portal reports, but weak spots in the offensive line, and the defense in general, have not given the team many chances to compete.
After being drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Hunt played out a relatively uneventful four-year contract with the Bengals and signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. In 2018, he had a career-best season in Indianapolis, finishing the year with five sacks and 30 tackles. This led to a two-year, $9-million contract extension, but this was short-lived after the Colts cut Hunt the next season.
The Estonian signed a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints for the 2020 season and played well in his limited role, finishing with a few tackles for loss and, most notably, blocking a field goal attempt during the season opener against Tampa Bay. Hunt was nonetheless released on Monday to make space for cornerback Ken Crawley, who was previously on the Saint's practice squad.
The Bengals next face divisional rivals the Cleveland Browns, at home next Sunday.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Andrew Whyte