Kansas City, here he comes.
Tyler Eastman of Old Town, a standout offensive tackle at the University of Maine, has signed a free-agent contract with the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs.
The 6-foot-6, 321-pound senior on Sunday became the first Maine native to sign with an NFL team since tight end Matt Mulligan of West Enfield in 2008.
Former Old Town High School tight end Chad Hayes was an NFL signee in 2002.
Eastman will attempt to earn a spot with the Chiefs, who last year signed former Black Bears defensive end Jovan Belcher.
Last season, Eastman earned All-Colonial Athletic Association second-team honors for coach Jack Cosgrove’s team. He anchored an offensive front that helped UMaine lead the conference while averaging more than 247 passing yards per game.
In February, Eastman participated in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game in El Paso, Texas.
Eastman started all 11 games at left tackle for the Bears, pushing his streak of consecutive starts to 24.
Later this week, UMaine senior Jordan Stevens of Temple also will get a shot at making an NFL roster.
The defensive end has been invited for a tryout at the Detroit Lions’ rookie minicamp on Thursday.
Eastman’s gratification at UMaine was somewhat delayed. He arrived in Orono for the 2006 season, after spending 2005-06 at University College in Bangor.
Eastman played in nine games as a freshman in 2006, then missed all of 2007 after undergoing knee surgery. He earned a starting spot in 2008, starting 13 games to help UMaine finish third in the CAA in rushing.
Last season, there were six UMaine products on NFL rosters. They include linebacker Stephen Cooper of San Diego, safety Brandon McGowan of New England, special-teamer Montell Owens of Jacksonville, defensive end Mike DeVito and tight end Matt Mulligan of the New York Jets, Belcher of the Chiefs and Lofa Tatupu of Seattle.