After some 700 players were released yesterday, teams will turn around and sign those same players today, but this time it will be to their respective practice squads. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement's rules, each team may have an eight man practice squad, consisting of players with less than a year of experience in the NFL, or less then nine games on the 46-man game day roster.
Looking through the Miami Dolphins' 22 roster cuts from yesterday, here are the eight players I could see Miami bringing back today.
- Sam Brenner, center - The team typically keeps two offensive linemen on the practice squad, so Brenner definitely has a chance to end up on the squad.
- Chad Bumphis, wide receiver - The early star of the preseason, Bumphis disappeared late in the exhibition games. Part of that may have been cutting down his snaps so the team could stash him on the practice squad. Whatever the reason, he is probably in need of a year of development before he can make the 53-man roster.
- A.J. Francis, defensive tackle - If anything surprised me about the Dolphins' 53 man roster, it was the release of both Francis and Kheeston Randall. I had both making the 53-man roster. The team didn't keep either. Francis, who showed some good stuff this preseason, could be a waiver target from some team, but if not, should be a practice squad player.
- Jonas Gray, running back - After spending the entire 2012 season on injured reserve, Gray had an up and down training camp and preseason. In the end, he just did not show enough to make the roster, but a year in development on the practice squad could be a good thing for Gray.
- Marvin McNutt, wide receiver - I didn't think McNutt had practice squad eligibility left, but looking back through the Eagles' gamebooks last year, he was not brought up to the 53-man roster until late in the year, making him not reach the criteria in the CBA link above, so he can be stashed if no other team grabs him. That's probably 50/50 at this point.
- Tristan Okpalaugo, defensive end - Assuming he makes his way through the waiver process, Okpalaugo should be a lock for the practice squad this season. He probably played well enough to be a reserve player on some teams, but the Dolphins are deep at defensive end.
- Lee Robinson, linebacker - Robinson has one year of practice squad eligibility left after spending two years with the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to start his career, before heading to the CFL for two seasons. Now, back in the NFL, Robinson could see one final year on a practice squad.
- Brian Tyms, wide receiver - Yes, I have three wide receivers making the practice squad this year. The Dolphins only kept four wide outs on the active roster, so I balance that a little with an extra receiver on the practice squad. Part of this is also protection against McNutt being claimed/poached, but I think Tyms, Bumphis, and McNutt all earned at least practice squad slots this year
I will add a ninth/alternate player to my list, simply because someone will likely be claimed/sign somewhere else. If the team cannot add all eight of the players above, they could fill it with another offensive lineman, bringing them back to two on the practice squad, with Chris Barker the likely player filling that role.
Two other players who could be targets for the practice squad are safeties Keelan Johnson or Jordan Kovacs, but the Dolphins already have 11 defensive backs on the 53-man roster, so the depth is already there.
Also, don't be surprised if the team signs someone to the practice squad from someone else's cuts.