Bills Cut Former 2-Time Super Bowl Champion’s Son for 2nd Time

Austin Proehl

Getty Austin Proehl #13 of the Seattle Dragons looks on prior to taking on the Tampa Bay Vipers at CenturyLink Field on February 15, 2020, in Seattle, Washington.

Less than two weeks after the Buffalo Bills signed wide receiver Austin Proehl to the practice squad, the franchise has let him go.

If Proehl’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the son of former NFL wide receiver Ricky Proehl. The elder Proehl, who earned two Super Bowl rings, racked up 54 touchdowns and nearly 9,000 yards during his 17-year career playing for numerous teams including the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams.

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For Austin Proehl, getting waived on Monday marks the second time he’s been released by the Bills. On November 2, he officially joined Buffalo’s practice team to replace wide receiver Tanner Gentry, who had been placed on the COVID-19 list. Proehl, 26, was originally drafted by Buffalo in 2018 but was let go during final cuts.

The Bills selected Proehl out of North Carolina in the seventh round, after which he bounced around the league. After he tallied 1,265 yards on 91 receptions in 28 college games, Proehl spent just one day with the Tennessee Titans practice squad and time with the XFL’s Seattle Dragons before signing with the Los Angeles Rams practice team.

In January 2021, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound receiver signed a reserve/future contract with the San Francisco 49ers but was waived on May 17. One day later, he was picked up by the Los Angeles Chargers and signed to their practice squad in September.

Proehl’s Brother Blake Plays Wide Receiver for the Minnesota Vikings

Football talent definitely runs in the family as Proehl’s younger brother, Blake Proehl, is a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately for Blake, however, the East Carolina alum was placed on injured reserve just before the 2021 NFL season started.

“Proehl’s right knee buckled in non-contact fashion during a one-on-one drill early in the joint practice with the Broncos,” Sports Illustrated’s Will Ragatz reported on August 12. “Trainers immediately attended to him and he was eventually carted off the field while appearing to be in serious pain.”

Blake Proehl continues to rehab his knee so he can return to the field in full health next season.

Proehl Is Grateful for His Family Support System

Back in March, Austin Proehl spoke to the Wilmington StarNews about growing up with an NFL star receiver as a father and watching his brother also join the league.

“It is truly a blessing from God for us all to be here and to even have this day and to dream about it and then for it to come true,” Proehl said. “We have this wonderful family and support system, from our grandparents, to cousins, our sister and our parents. We don’t take it for granted.”

As for Ricky Proehl, who spent a few years as a coach with the Carolina Panthers, helping navigate his sons’ NFL careers has been a highlight of his life.

“They have exceeded my expectations as a dad,” he told the StarNews. “You want them to grow up and play sports, and I know how hard it is to play at the next level, and they are getting the opportunity and that is all they could ask for. I am proud of both of them.”

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