The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to expand the practice squad from eight players to 10 in a pact that right now only lasts for the 2014 and 2015 season. That’s good news for coaches who like having more players for practice and for general managers who like the possibility of keeping young talent around to develop. It also helps a team to have more players who are familiar with the system if a roster move is necessary during the season.
The new practice squad rule has also brought with it a couple of adjustments. Players can spend up to three seasons on the practice squad if eligible, and now a player has to be on a PS six games (up from just three) to have a PS year count against one of those three seasons.
Second, and the much, much bigger news, is that two players of the 10 may now have up to two accrued seasons in the NFL. Before, a player with at least nine games on the 46-man roster in a season was not practice-squad eligible. That means that almost every player who has come into the league since 2012 is eligible this season. In the most obvious current case with the Cardinals, that suddenly means that quarterback Ryan Lindley, who was not practice-squad eligible a couple of hours ago, now is eligible.
In Lindley’s case, I still don’t know if the Cards would want to keep him around. There are very few reps for reserve QBs once the season starts and the Cards are going to want to get rookie Logan Thomas as much work as they can. Having a fourth quarterback in the mix would make that tougher for both Thomas and Lindley. But you never know.
Practice squad players still have to clear waivers. That hasn’t changed, so if you think a guy can play, he may never make it through for you to put him back on your practice squad. But with the two-years-and-OK change, the pool for the squad just got really, really big. (Brittan Golden on the practice squad? Even Earl Watford?)
Tags: Brittan Golden, Earl Watford, Logan Thomas, practice squad, Ryan Lindley
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The Cardinals have re-signed their practice squad players to futures contracts, according to the New Year’s Day NFL transactions list. That’s not a surprise as the Cards begin the process to building the offseason roster. A futures contract simply locks up the practice squad players — who would be free agents once the league year ends in early March — to contracts for 2014.
The players are:
– C Philip Blake (spent much of the season on practice squad injured reserve)
– WR Dan Buckner
– LB Kenny Demens
– C Tommie Draheim
– TE Darren Fells
– RB Robert Hughes
– S Orhian Johnson
– DT Anthony McCloud
– LB Kenny Rowe
Tags: Anthony McCloud, Dan Buckner, Darren Fells, Kenny Demens, Kenny Rowe, Orhian Johnson, Philip Blake, practice squad, Robert Hughes, Tommie Draheim
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The Cardinals made a roster move Tuesday, and decided to release wide receiver Kerry Taylor and promote wide receiver Brittan Golden from the practice squad. Taylor burst out in his first game, making three catches against the Lions in a game where Larry Fitzgerald couldn’t finish because of hamstring problems.(Taylor even got a game ball after that performance.) But he was inactive this past weekend. Bruce Arians was already trying to figure out how to get Andre Roberts back in the mix. Now, the Cards clearly want to see what Golden can do.
There are open spots on the practice squad now, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Cards put Taylor back on the practice squad, assuming he clears waivers.
The team also made practice squad moves at linebacker Tuesday, releasing Bruce Taylor and adding Orie Lemon. The Cards also released practice squad wide receiver Devon Wylie.
Tags: Brittan Golden, Kerry Taylor, Orie Lemon, practice squad, Roster
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The first depth chart of the regular season — officially unofficial that it is — is out. Yes, the team puts one out but let’s face it, there is nothing making the coaches stay true to it, so as usual, there is a grain of salt aspect that must come with it. That said, Ryan Williams, after everything he went through in training camp, is still listed as the No. 2 running back behind Rashard Mendenhall. Stepfan Taylor is three, Alfonso Smith four, Andre Ellington fifth.
The rest of the chart doesn’t change much. Jim Dray is listed as a starter now with Rob Housler in the two-tight end sets. That’s no surprise. Dray has been the steadiest tight end the Cards have had. New tackle Bradley Sowell is listed as a right tackle, third on the depth chart behind Eric Winston and Bobby Massie. As always, you can view the whole chart here: http://www.azcardinals.com/team/depth-chart.html
– The Cardinals had a handful of jersey number changes too, the most significant being veteran linebacker John Abraham’s ability to go back to wearing No. 55. That comes compliments of fellow veteran LB Karlos Dansby, who will take the No. 56 of the departed Reggie Walker. Also changing were Winston, who takes No. 73 from No. 65, linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who takes No. 52 from No. 54, and safety Tony Jefferson, who goes to No. 22 from No. 36.
– UPDATE: The Cards filled out the final three spots on the practice squad with LB Kenny Demens (cut earlier this week), DT Anthony McCloud (cut by Minnesota) and WR Sam McGuffie (cut by Oakland).
– Don’t forget the first of weekly Tuesday chats today at 2 p.m. The link is right here.
– In case you missed it, here is a photo gallery from Larry Fitzgerald’s trip to Pitt last night to get his No. 1 jersey retired.
Tags: Anthony McCloud, depth chart, Eric Winston, Jasper Brinkley, jersey numbers, Jim Dray, John Abraham, Karlos Dansby, Kenny Demens, Larry Fitzgerald, practice squad, Rob Housler, Roster, Ryan Williams, Sam McGuffie, Tony Jefferson
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The Cardinals have picked five of their possible eight practice-squad players, including pass rusher Dontay Moch — an intriguing prospect and former third-round pick who has been limited to one regular season game in two seasons because of migraines, a broken foot and a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Moch would be a linebacker in the Cards’ scheme. He’s had 6.5 sacks the past two preseasons, so he has flashed. It makes sense as practice squad potential.
The Cardinals also brought back both their Taylors from the preseason roster — wide receiver Kerry and safety Curtis — to the practice squad, as well as linebacker Kenny Rowe. Rowe, like Moch, is part of the Cards’ perpetual quest to find edge rushers.
The other spot went to center/guard Philip Blake, recently cut by Denver.
There are still three practice squad spots left. One could go to linebacker Kenny Demens, cut yesterday by the team. Tackle Jamaal Johnson-Webb, cut by the Cards, ended up on the Bears’ practice squad.
Tags: Curtis Taylor, Dontay Moch, Kenny Demens, Kenny Rowe, Kerry Taylor, Philip Blake, practice squad
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The Cardinals ended up with two linemen today awarded on waiver claims: tackle Bradley Sowell (late of the Colts) and defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu (cut by the Steelers). The corresponding cuts were linebacker Kenny Demens (who is practice squad eligible) and cornerback Bryan McCann (which takes the Cards down to six cornerbacks).
Bringing in a nose tackle-type like Ta’amu is no surprise. The Cards had been looking for one behind Dan Williams. Adding another offensive tackle is interesting, since the Cards already have four on the roster. You have to wonder if they check out Sowell, see if he fits their bill, and then choose between him and another (Nate Potter, perhaps?) Sowell had also been used sometimes to line up as a tight end with the Colts — I’m sure in jumbo packages — so there’s that aspect. He played 10 games last year for the Colts, so offensive coordinator/O-line coach Harold Goodwin and coach Bruce Arians are both very familiar with him.
The release of Ta’amu was notable in Pittsburgh. He was a fourth-round pick in 2012 who didn’t have much of a rookie season after being involved in an auto accident after which he was placed on probation. The Cardinals now have six defensive linemen and 10 offensive linemen.
Tags: Alameda Ta'amu, Bradley Sowell, Bryan McCann, cuts, Dan Williams, Kenny Demens, Nate Potter, practice squad, waiver claim
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Some quick tidbits on a quiet Friday …
– Linebacker Daryl Washington gets named to yet another all-NFL team (although Bucky Brooks picks three inside linebackers and two outside linebackers for his new 12-man defense, apparently.) UPDATE: Washington was named second-team all-pro on Saturday as well.
– Assistant defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend is leaving, heading to the college game. He will be the new defensive backs coach at Mississippi State.
– The Cardinals signed seven players to “futures” contracts: LB Tim Fugger, DT Ricky Lumpkin, LB Colin Parker, DE Everrette Thompson, RB Fozzy Whittaker — all of whom ended the year on the practice squad — and G Jeremiah Warren, who was on the Patriots’ practice squad. (WR Gerell Robinson signed a futures deal with Denver.) A “futures” contract just means it doesn’t officially kick in until the new league year in March.
Tags: Daryl Washington, Deshea Townsend, Everrette Thompson, Fozzy Whittaker, Jeremiah Warren, practice squad, Ricky Lumpkin, Tim Fugger
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The Cardinals officially put linebacker O’Brien Schofield on injured reserve, ending his season, but the man they brought in to replace him on the roster wasn’t a linebacker. Instead, the Cardinals re-signed defensive end Ronald Talley, who was released by the team at the end of the preseason. The Cardinals already were carrying an extra linebacker after promoting Zack Nash recently, so numbers-wise, it’s not out of whack.
The Cardinals also lost cornerback Crezdon Butler off the practice squad when the Buffalo Bills signed him to their active roster. So the Cards brought back cornerback Greg McCoy to the practice squad, whom they had released from that spot recently to bring back Butler.
The team also officially announced the injury settlement with offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges, releasing him off of injured reserve. Bridges is free to sign and play with any team other than the Cardinals. In theory, Bridges could come back eventually, but I’m not sure that will happen.
Tags: Crezdon Butler, Greg McCoy, Jeremy Bridges, O'Brien Schofield, practice squad, Ronald Talley
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The Cardinals added an offensive tackle Tuesday, and you know him — it’s Pat McQuistan, who was with the team the first three weeks before being released. It will be interesting to see if he gets a chance to play at some point in front of the struggling D’Anthony Batiste or Bobby Massie. It does produce another option, however, and at this point, options are good.
To make room for McQuistan, and in a good sign of the rehab process for Michael Adams and Greg Toler, the Cardinals released cornerback Crezdon Butler.
The Cardinals also made a practice squad move. Practice squad receiver Isaiah Williams, after hurting his finger in practice, has been placed on the injured reserve – practice squad list, clearing the way for receiver Gerell Robinson to return to the practice squad after serving his four-game suspension. Robinson had been suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
Tags: Bobby Massie, Crezdon Butler, D'Anthony Batiste, Gerell Robinson, Isaiah Williams, Pat McQuistan, practice squad
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The Cardinals officially announced all the moves swirling around over the weekend. Veteran free agent offensive tackle Pat McQuistan was signed to a one-year deal and reserve lineman Jeremy Bridges (thumb) was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. The team brought aboard outside linebacker Jamaal Westerman via waivers. And the practice squad is filled like this:
– LB Colin Parker
– CB Larry Parker
– DT Ricky Lumpkin
– TE Steve Skelton
– OLB Ricky Elmore
– T Steven Baker
– WR Gerell Robinson
– WR Isaiah Williams
Tags: Colin Parker, Gerell Robinson, Isaiah Williams, Jamaal Westerman, Jeremy Bridges, Larry Parker, Pat McQuistan, practice squad, Ricky Elmore, Ricky Lumpkin, Steve Skelton, Steven Baker
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