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SIU safety PJ Jules signs free agent contract with Cincinnati Bengals

P.J Jules is shown tackling a ball carrier from Murray State last season
SIU Athletics

Southern Illinois safety PJ Jules signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night, shortly after the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Jules joins four fellow Salukis on active NFL rosters heading into the 2024 season — safety Jeremy Chinn (Washington Commanders), tight end MyCole Pruitt (Pittsburgh Steelers), safety Ryan Neal (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and cornerback Craig James (Detroit Lions).

The Orlando, Fla. native was a Consensus All-American for SIU last season and helped lead the team to the FCS Playoffs Round of 16 with a win over Nicholls State.

Jules led the team and ranked among the nation's leaders in tackles (111), tackles for loss (13.0) and pass breakups (11). He had double-digit tackles in five games, including 15 at SEMO, for which he was named MVFC Defensive Player of the Week.

He also had 12 tackles twice (Northern Illinois, Indiana State) and 10 tackles twice (South Dakota State, South Dakota) and was named the MVFC Player of the Week in Southern's win against the FBS Huskies.

Jules was the leader of a unit that ranked in the Top 5 nationally in most defensive metrics, and finished his career as the school record holder in career pass breakups. After the season, he accepted an invitation to play in the Hula Bowl all-star game.

Also, running back Justin Strong has been invited to rookie mini-camp by the Indianapolis Colts.

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