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Who can be on the Practice Squad?

Who can be on the Practice Squad?

Westbrook could spend a third year on the practice squad

During the live blog last night we got to discussing the practice squad and who could be on it and who couldn't. I found my PDF of the NFL collective bargaining agreement and found the rules on page 171. Here are the eligibility requirements for players to be on the Practice Squad:

  • Players may not have served more than two previous seasons on a practice squad
  • Players who do not have an accrued season of NFL experience.
  • Free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during the only Accrued Seasons.
  • An otherwise eligible player may be a practice squad player for a third season only if the club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list during the entire period of his employment.
  • Three regular season or postseason games on the practice squad qualifies as a year.

Also, a player must clear waivers before being added to the practice squad and, during the season, a team can sign a PS player from another team with no compensation. In addition, after being waived a player cut by one team could sign with the practice squad of another team.

The primary misconception that I had was that players who had a season on the roster but were inactive virtually the entire year such as Colt Brennan or Chad Reinhart could not be on the practice squad. Since both were active for fewer than nine games during their only accrued seasons, they could be signed to the PS.

It says here that neither one of them will end up there. Reinhart should get another year, although it appears that he will be the second option should a guard go down; Jeremy Bridges will be the first. Colt's fate won't be decided until after Thursday's game but he clearly is on the bubble. If Chase Daniel does get the nod as the third QB I doubt that Brennan would wind up on the practice squad.

It's not that he's not worth keeping around but that there is no use for a fourth quarterback in the week to week operation during the regular season. Even with three you have an extra with the starter running the offense and another one running the scout team. The third one can throw to receivers in drills and handle other such chores. A fourth quarterback would be the proverbial fifth wheel.

It also appears that Byron Westbrook could be on the PS. He's been on there the past two seasons but since, as far as I know, the Redskins have had 53 players on the active/inactive roster every week. That seems like an odd twist to the rules since I've never heard of a team carrying fewer than 53 players. But apparently they don't want teams carrying practice squad players in lieu of having them on the roster.

Westbrook may or may not want to hang around for another year on the PS. The practice squad may not be a player's dream destination, but it's not a bad gig. The minimum pay is $5,200 a week or $88,400 if you stick the whole season. A team can play a practice squad member more but the salaries do go against the cap.

It's not as good a deal as being on the roster. The rookie minimum is $285,000 or $16,764 a week.

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Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.