As the Lions near their final cuts, they are going to be looking to sign 8 guys to the practice squad.
What is the Practice Squad? - It's a group of guys that are allowed to practice with the team during the week. They typically are part of the scout team that runs the upcoming opponents schemes during the week.
How much do they earn? - For 2008, they are entitled to a paycheck of $5,200 per week, but they don't earn accrued seasons (determines free agency status) or credited seasons (determines minimum pay status and other benefits) in the NFL.
Which players are eligible for the practice squad?
- Players that have two or less prior seasons on a teams practice squad (3 weeks on the practice squad in one season counts as a season on the practice squad).
- If a player has accrued seasons in the NFL, they are still eligible for the practice squad if they have been active for less than nine games, provided they meet rule 1 above.
Which current Lions players are eligible?
- QB - Drew Henson (two accrued seasons, but only seven games on active roster, never on PS)
- QB - Drew Stanton (no accrued seasons, never on PS)
- RB - Kevin Smith (Rookie)
- RB - Jerome Felton (Rookie)
- WR - Kenneth Moore (Rookie)
- WR - Brandon Middleton (one accrued season, but only two seasons on PS 2005-STL, 2007-DET, 2006-DNP)
- TE - Clark Harris (No accrued seasons and one season on PS - 2007)
- Oline - Gosder Cherrilus (rookie)
- Oline - Manny Ramirez (no accrued seasons)
- Oline - Carroll Madison (Rookie)
- Dline - Five0 - (One accrued season, but less than nine games on active roster)
- Dline - Andre Fluellen - (Rookie)
- Dline - Cliff Avril - (Rookie)
- Dline - Landon Cohen (Rookie)
- Dline - Victor DeGrate (no accrued seasons and one year on PS 2007-DET)
- Dline - Ruldolph Hardie - (Rookie)
- LB - Jordon Dizon (Rookie)
- LB - Buster Davis (No accrued seasons and one year on PS 2007-DET)
- LB - Tyrone Pruitt - (Rookie)
- LB - Darnell Bing (No accrued seasons and one year on PS 2007-SF)
- CB - Ramzee Robinson (One accrued season and one year on PS 2007-DET)
- CB - LaMarcus Hicks (One accrued season and one year on PS 2007-DET)
Who is not eligible? - Basically everyone else, but here's a list of players that may at first appear eligible, but fail for the reason listed
- WR - Ronald Belamy (one accrued season with less than nine games on active roster, but has already spent 3 seasons on PS 2003 & 2004-MIA and 2007-DET)
- WR - John Standeford (Only one accrued season with less than nine games on active roster, but has spent 3 seasons on PS 2004, 2005 & 2006 with Indy)
- WR - DeVale Ellis (One season on PS, only one accrued season but has nine games exactly on active roster)
- Oline - Frank Davis - (Only one accrued season, but has nine games exactly on the active roster)
- Dline - Claude Harriot - (no accrued seasons, but three seasons on PS 2004-NYG, 2006-DET & 2007-DET & KC)
What's the procedure for signing players to the practice squad?
- They have to be officially waived from their current team. During the final cuts over the next week.
- Then they must clear waivers. If a team claims a player placed on waivers, they are immediately added to the teams active roster. We claimed Eric Frampton off waivers last year at this time.
- After the players clear waivers, they are free to negotiate a practice sqaud contract with whatever team they choose. Typically, players sign with the club that they were just waived from, because they have familiarity with that club, but they are not required to. Fred Matua signed with Cleveland a couple years ago, even though he was offered a contract on Detroit's PS. Buster Davis was offered a contract with Arizona after being waived, but elected to sign with Detroit's PS.
Does signing a Practice Squad contract with a team, limit their ability to sign with another team? - No, they can sign a contract with any NFL team at any time, provided that it's for a spot on the active roster. They are not allowed to switch practice squad teams unless they are waived from the Practice Squad.
Current Lions, Mike Furrey, Stephen Peterman and Paris Lenon have all spent time on the practice squad in the past. So, just because you don't initially make the roster, doesn't mean your NFL career is over.