Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com notes that in the wake of injuries, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been poaching opposing team’s practice squads.
This topic had also caught the eye of Mac’s Football Blog.
In the last few weeks, an injury to seventh-round safety Cody Grimm prompted the Buccaneers to sign Larry Asante, a 2010 fifth-round pick, off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad. This week, the Buccaneers signed rookie Dominique Harris off the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad.
When the Buccaneers placed second-round defensive tackle Brian Price on season-ending injured reserve, they signed Al Woods, a 2010 fourth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints, off the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad.
Woods has 13 tackles and a half-sack in seven games, and with 2010 first-round pick Gerald McCoy on IR now, Woods is playing a pivotal role in the team’s tackle rotation.
Aggressively adding young talent is becoming the modus operandi of the Buccaneers’ front office.
Wide receiver Dezman Briscoe, a sixth-round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, opted to sign a practice squad contract with the Buccaneers, who were willing to pay him at a rate that was 53 cents less per week than he would make if he were on the team’s active roster.
Briscoe was activated to the 53-man roster in Week 13.
Buccaneers offensive linemen Derek Hardman and Will Barker were also receiving elevated practice squad salaries from the Buccaneers before they were signed to the active roster.
Current practice squad defensive lineman E.J. Wilson, a 2010 fourth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, recently had his weekly salary increased to $10,000, a $4,800 raise over the minimum salary of $5,200. This sort of abrupt increase usually signifies that another club expressed interest in signing Wilson to its active roster.
This varies from team-to-team, but practice squad players, as well as street free agents, typically sign one-to-three year deals when joining an active roster. The numbers on Harris’ contract aren’t posted yet, but according to NFLPA records, eleven rookies or first-year players that the Buccaneers have signed during this season are under contract through 2013.
Buccaneers Rookies/First-Year Players Signed Through 2013
WR, Dezman Briscoe
TE, Nathan Overbay
TE, Ryan Purvis
TE, Erik Lorig (was a 2010 draft pick signed off own p-squad)
T, Will Barker
G, Derek Hardman
G, Brandon Carter
DT, Al Woods
DE, George Johnson
S, Larry Asante
P, Robert Malone
Safety Vince Anderson, waived when Harris was signed off the Bills’ practice squad, had also been signed to a four-year deal.
According to a league source, none of the players received a signing bonus to sign these longer-termed deals, though base salary escalation in 2013 is available in some deals. Since they were signed off another team’s practice squad, Woods and Asante were guaranteed three game-checks, or $56,471 for a rookie.