Olympic Gold Medalist and Former WWE Superstar Gable Steveson Signing with Buffalo Bills

In search of defensive line help, the Bills went for an unconventional route, signing Olympic gold medalist and former WWE star Gable Steveson.

While OTAs are still underway, there’s still room for improvement on every roster. For the Buffalo Bills, they’re adding defensive line help in an unorthodox way as they are expected to sign former Olympic gold medalist and former WWE superstar Gable Steveson.

Who Is Gable Steveson?

Born May 31, 2000, Steveson is a 6’1, 275-pound University of Minnesota alumnus. He began wrestling back in high school, which led to him winning multiple awards, including a gold medal, before joining Team USA.

Now, at 24 years old, he is joining the Bills as a defensive lineman, the team announced. He will play defensive line, something he hasn’t done during his career. Additionally, it will be the first time Steveson has ever played football.

Steveson is attempting to join Bob Hayes as the only athlete to win a Super Bowl and an Olympic gold medal. Hayes did it in 1971-1972 when he won Super Bowl 6 with the Dallas Cowboys. Hayes was a part of the NFL from 1965-1975, mostly with the Cowboys.

What Did Steveson Accomplish as a Wrestler?

Steveson started his wrestling career early in his life, competing in the 2014 Minnesota State Highschool League finals at just 13 years old. However, it was the season after that when he saw a boom in his career, racking up four state titles and a 171-match win streak.

He then received the Junior Schalles Award for the best high school pinner in 2017 and won the Junior Hodge Trophy the next year. He also claimed multiple age-group World Championships. Eventually, he became the top recruit in the country, opting to stay local at Minnesota.

Before heading off to college, Steveson placed fourth at the 2018 US Open Wrestling Cahmpionships and the US World Team Trials as a high school senior. He then used a redshirt as a freshman, winning titles at the Daktronics and Bison Open tournaments.

However, his redshirt was pulled in November, putting together a 14-0 record in dual meets and a Cliff Keen Invitational title. In 2020, he once again went undefeated in duals during regular season play with a 12-0 record. His season, however, was ultimately ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All in all, his résumé includes being a 2017 Junior World champion, 2016 Cadet World champion, 2015 Cadet World champion, and 2020 Olympic gold medalist. He was also a part of Team USA in 2019-22 and 2023-24.

He initially signed with the WWE in 2021 but returned to college on an NIL deal. He dominated the ranks once again by going undefeated and being named Big Ten Athlete of the Year for 2022. Eventually, he finished his career as one of the greatest of all time, later returning to the WWE and eventually being moved to the NXT brand full-time.

Other Wrestlers Who Have Played in the NFL

While many sports coincide in high school and college, wrestling and football are two of the most compatible there is. As a result, there have been many wrestlers who have played in the NFL, including WWE stars. However, some were better than others.

One of the most notable was Bill Goldberg, who played nose tackle for the Atlanta Falcons from 1992-94. He played in 14 games total, starting one of them. In those games, he recorded 11 tackles. As a wrestler, though, Goldberg is best known for his tenures in World Championship Wrestling and WWE, being a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.

READ MORE: Top NFL Players Turned Wrestlers — Pat McAfee, Brock Lesnar, More

Another name you might know is Pacman Jones, who played for many NFL teams from 2005-2018. During his career, he appeared in 146 games with 104 starts, recording 17 interceptions and five punt return touchdowns. As a wrestler, he’s done around a dozen matches in TNA and was a world tag team champion with Ron Killings.

Now, if you want to go way back, then there’s Wahoo McDaniel, who played in the NFL from 1960-1968 as both a guard and linebacker. During his career he played in 105 games, starting 91 of them, and recorded 13 interceptions. As a wrestler, he was heavily involved in the NWA and CWF.

Bills’ Defensive Line Depth Chart

Now on the Bills, Steveson will wear No. 61 and play defensive tackle as an undrafted free agent signing. He will join a depth chart that features 17 other players. The current starters, however, include Greg Rousseau, DaQuan Jones, Ed Oliver, and A.J. Epenesa.

In addition to that group, there’s also Von Miller, Dawuane Smoot, Austin Johnson, and a pair of drafted rookies in DeWayne Carter and Javon Solomon.

SEE MORE: Buffalo Bills’ Depth Chart

However, while there are lots of names with which Steveson will join, there are only so many guys he will compete against on the interior of the defensive line. Behind Oliver, Jones, Carter, and Johnson, there’s Eli Ankou, DeShawn Williams, Branson Deen, and then Steveson.

While he’ll have his work cut out for him, Steveson likely just needs to beat out at least three of those names, maybe four, if he wants to make the final roster this fall.

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