School rules dictate Taylor will have to wait

Posted by Darren Urban on May 8, 2013 – 4:08 pm

Fifth-round pick Stepfan Taylor will be at the Cardinals’ rookie minicamp this weekend. All the rookies will. But the NFL rule that prohibits rookies from taking part in addition offseason work until their school has held final exams — regardless of whether the player is actually attending school or not (because many players leave school to prep for the NFL) — means Taylor, a Stanford product, won’t be around for much else.

Stanford isn’t scheduled to have final exams end until June 12. That happens to be the second day of the Cardinals’ mandatory minicamp at the end of the full team offseason work. There will be a final practice the next day. Rookies will likely stay around the facility beyond that (they usually do as the vets disperse for the rest of their offseason) but it’s not the same as the OTAs and minicamp.

The Cards do have a couple other rookies that could miss some time after rookie minicamp, but we’re talking one to three days in the other cases. The first OTAs are May 14-16, and there will be 10 total OTA days through June 6, before the June 11-13 minicamp.

Taylor does have a few things going for him. One, he’s from Stanford. I’m betting he’s pretty smart. Two, he’s a running back, and I’m guessing there isn’t as much needed to grasp to still be able to make an impact (and he still has all of training camp.) Finally, it’s not like he’s the first to ever go through this. Stanford products have to deal with this every year. Andrew Luck (below, handing off to Taylor in college) was gone from the Colts for more than a month, and that worked out pretty well for him and his team.

And who was there first-hand in Indy to see that play out? Bruce Arians.

— The rookies report tomorrow for physicals and other stuff. Draft picks Kevin Minter and Tyrann Mathieu will have a co-press conference at 2 p.m.

— No, as of now, nothing new to report on the Karlos Dansby situation. He did visit today and saw some of his old teammates. We’ll see if a contract can be worked out.


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19 Responses to “School rules dictate Taylor will have to wait”

  1. By Eric G on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Something tells me that even if the NFL didn’t have this rule, a Stanford guy would finish his exams. Good luck in the exams Taylor, can’t wait to see you in training camp.

  2. By cards4sb on May 8, 2013 | Reply


    It isn’t said enough. Thank you very much for the work that you do to keep us fans informed. I know that all these blogs can keep you busy enough. I watch very little NFL network or read very little anymore because I get all I need right here thanks to you and everyone you work with. Kudos my man. I look forward to more.

  3. By shannon robinson on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Darren – My recollection of NFL rules are that the suspended player, in our case D Washington, does not count on the 53 player roster during his suspension period – am I correct on this?

  4. By Darren Urban on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Shannon –

    RE: roster/suspension

    Correct. The Cards will actually carry 54 coming out of preseason.

  5. By andystandsup on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Is it just me or does the NFL rule stipulating that you can’t practice until your class graduates seem antiquated?
    Has to be a viable reason why certain players have to wait a few weeks over other teammates to assure employment opportunity – but I don’t have the answer.

  6. By Bay Area Bad Boy on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Taylor is a great back and he will be productive when given the opportunity. He’s not needed right now with Ryan Williams and the RB coming over from Pittsburgh. But you better believe he will make a difference when he gets his chance.

  7. By Credit Card on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Lets hope Bill Belichick doesn’t sneak in at night during the construction phase and install a couple of spy cameras.

  8. By Mr Robles on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for the Dansby update Darren been waiting all day to hear something hopefully he’s a Cardinal again tomorrow

  9. By tbru on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Wash’s pot suspension is nothing, if the assault charges stick. Hope we can sign Dansby and maybe bring back Lennon.

  10. By NYCardinals212 on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Is it just me or does the NFL rule stipulating that you can’t practice until your class graduates seem antiquated?
    My two cents:

    I think it is an agreement between the NFL and NCAA. The purpose, I believe, is to protect against a decrease in student-athlete graduation rates.

  11. By NYCardinals212 on May 9, 2013 | Reply


    Essentially, if you’re going to be making a six figure salary in a couple months, why even take your final exams?

    The NCAA says, “hey, we train all your future talent, the least you can do is help us keep our graduations rates up”. (higher graduation rates equals more money — tuition, federal and state tax dollars, etc.)

  12. By sbrown on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    @ NYCard, yes you are correct, it is the handshake agreement between NFL / NCAA to keep players in class till they finish finals. If not, then f-ball players would never go to their spring semester classes as they train 24 / 7 for the combine and draft. This “rule” is nothing new, S. Kelemete missed almost all of the mini camps last year as his college, Washington also has a very late finals week.

  13. By D on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Who the heck are these politicians think they are, trying to make a private company, an NFL team explain roster moves. The NFL better stand up to these examples of outside influences trying to change the best sport in America, or it will become a joke like the MLB and NBA where everyone knows at the beggining of the year who the playoff teams already are…..

  14. By Mike Ellingboe on May 9, 2013 | Reply


    “Essentially, if you’re going to be making a six figure salary in a couple months, why even take your final exams?”

    For once I have to side with the NFL on something. The league average for a NFL career is what, 3-4 years? I don’t know all the numbers, but with the rookie salary structure in place what they can earn is greatly reduced (not that it would have been that high for a 5th rounder in the first place), and the idea that most are financially set just for being in the NFL is essentially a myth. Factor in the injuries they’ll likely have to deal with for the rest of their lives, and it really becomes foolish not to finish your degree.

    I have to agree with Eric G, regardless of league rules I can’t imagine a Stanford player giving it a second thought.

  15. By Louisville Card on May 9, 2013 | Reply


    Do you really think 2 or 3 guys that actually make an NFL team will affect the graduation rate of colleges with thousands of students?

    @eric g

    Something tells me a “Stanford Guy” would be equipped to study for a test and a practice too. But what do I Know?

    Darren, didn’t beanie miss some of camp for the same reason when he was a rookie? It doesn’t seem like it was quite as much, but I do think he missed some time too…

  16. By Darren Urban on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Beanie

    Yes, Beanie in the same boat because Ohio State is usually later too. After awhile the schools become familiar. I want to say Oregon State might be in there too?

  17. By Dr G on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    Who is it that is saying it is a political ploy to keep kids in college? This entire concept of “hardship” to take care of the mom who has a kid not knowing who or where the father is has become a plague for the money. This child is a source of income, and probably for the long-term. Lots of pressure on them.

    The idea of paying a player to stay in college is not new. There is money for tuition, board, books, etc… and under-the-table money from alumni sometimes… It would be good to pay a reasonable salary to the student athlete so he or she could avoid any real or imagined hardship claim. It should be considered to be restricted to the sports that produce revenue to the college. Here come the Title 9 arguments!!!!

    This could be the first step for all Pro Sports to require restriction of drafting a kid until the college class graduates. Those old rules are gone because of the greed of the Pro teams… There are some exceptions, but they are few that are glaring successes. How many kids leave school and then don’t make it to the show??? Then the degree is too hard to continue. The college teams are not as good as they used to be because the best players leave looking to cash in. Different Pro sports have differing rules….too bad….

    I would be in favor of the concept of a Pro Team paying a kid a salary while he is in college and until graduation. It could be part of the draft. David Robinson was an example, but it was the Navy, not school that delayed his participation. Later….

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