Elijah Lee

Notable NFL Practice Squad Salaries

Playing on an NFL practice squad isn’t a bad gig. You work with a club’s 53-man roster every week, have a good chance to get called up if/when injuries strike, and collect a solid paycheck ($8K per week minimum). And for some practice squaders, the pay can get even better.

While all practice squad salaries count towards the salary cap, there’s no restriction on how much a team can pay a practice squad player. When a club desperately wants to retain a player but can’t fit him on its 53, they’ll often bump up his salary in an effort to keep him around. Here’s a look at several players who are earning much more than the NFL’s $8K per week standard, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link):

The 49ers clearly have no problem with spending a little extra on practice squad players, as both Lee and Harris are earning at least $22K more than the league PS minimum. Lee’s been with San Francisco since 2017 and started five games for the club last season, but the 49ers’ front seven depth is keeping him on the taxi squad for now. Harris, too, was a part-time starter for San Francisco in 2018.

The quarterbacks on the list are also interesting. Rypien has been deemed Broncos’ offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello‘s “project” and could be called up to the active roster at some point given that Denver is only carrying two quarterbacks in Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen (rookie second-rounder Drew Lock is on injured reserve). And the rebuilding Dolphins seem intent on hanging onto Rudock, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Lions.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

49ers Cut Joshua Garnett, Reach Max

The 49ers got down to the 53-man roster maximum by releasing 24 players in total on Saturday, including former first-round pick Joshua Garnett.

The Niners used the No. 28 pick to select Garnett in 2016, but they never saw much from him at the pro level. The Stanford product started in eleven of his 15 games as a rookie, but even then, his performance was underwhelming – Garnett racked up penalties and didn’t excel in run blocking or pass blocking. Garnett then missed all of 2017 after undergoing knee surgery and only saw action as a reserve in seven games last year. At a rate of $10.35MM, it made little sense to keep Garnett for 2020, especially since the option would have been guaranteed for injury.

This year, Garnett is said to be healthy, but that ensured little in terms of performance, so he’s out. The Niners will save $1.7MM against $1.2MM in dead money.

Jordan Matthews was said to have had a strong camp, but the 27-year-old wide receiver wasn’t able to stick in SF. He inked a one-year, $1.8MM deal with the Niners in March, but he’ll exit with just his $300K signing bonus in hand.

Aside from Garnett and Matthews, here’s the rest of the Niners’ cuts:

Released

DB Antone Exum Jr.

LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles

DL Jamell Garcia-Williams

DL Kevin Givens

S Marcell Harris

TE Daniel Helm

WR Malik Henry

LB Elijah Lee

LB David Mayo

DL Damontre Moore

LB LaRoy Reynolds

G Ross Reynolds

S Tyree Robinson

QB Wilton Speight

WR Chris Thompson

DL Jordan Thompson

OL Najee Toran

DL Jeremiah Valoaga

RB Austin Walter

RB Jeff Wilson Jr.

Waived/Injured

DB Adrian Colbert

OL Andrew Lauderdale

49ers Cut Brock Coyle, Who Will Retire

The 49ers released linebacker Brock Coyle on Thursday, the team announced. San Francisco also signed linebacker David Mayo to a two-year deal and announced linebacker Elijah Lee has signed his exclusive rights tender. 

Coyle later announced his retirement from football due to the back injury that cut his season short in 2018 [Twitter link].

Injuries are a part of this game and it is a risk all players willingly take when we step onto the field. Unfortunately, the injury I sustained last season is one that will prevent me from returning to the field again.

Coyle, 28, joined the 49ers in 2017 on a one-year deal and impressed, starting 10 games and appearing in all contests while registering a career-high 62 tackles. He signed a three-year deal in the ensuing offseason but only played in one game in 2018 due to the injury.

Mayo, 25, was a fifth-round pick by the Panthers out of Texas State in 2015. He has appeared in all but one regular season game in the last three seasons with Carolina, making four starts and logging a combined 35 tackles. While he didn’t see a ton of action on the defensive side of the ball, Mayo is a strong contributor on special teams.

Lee, 23, was a seventh-round pick by the Vikings in 2017. The 49ers signed the Kansas State product off Minnesota’s practice squad that same season and he has appeared in 30 of a possible 32 games in his career. In 2018, the linebacker made five starts and logged 65 tackles with a sack and forced fumble.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Exercise Options On Juszczyk, Watson

The 49ers decided to get a good deal of their housekeeping done on Thursday. Per a team announcement, the club has made the following transactions:

Tendered:

Exercised 2019 Options:

Declined 2019 option

For the most part, these were no-brainer calls for SF. Mostert, Lee, and Mabin will all return on cheap one-year deals that require little in the way of actual commitments. Juszczyk, signed to a four-year, $21MM deal in 2017, is regarded as one of the very best fullbacks in the NFL and graded out as the second-best in the league last year, per Pro Football Focus. who rejoiced when he was cut by the Pats and claimed by the Niners in 2017, tallied a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2018.

49ers Sign LB Elijah Lee Off Vikings’ PS

The 49ers have signed linebacker Elijah Lee off the Vikings’ practice squad, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter links).

San Francisco had interest in signing Lee to its practice squad following final cutdowns, but the Vikings increased his salary above the $7,200 per week minimum in order to convince to stick in Minnesota. Lee, whom the Vikings selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draft, spent three seasons at Kansas State. Last year, he appeared in 13 games and managed 110 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and two interceptions.

The 49ers are searching for linebacker depth following the news that rookie Reuben Foster is expected to be sidelined for at least one month with a high-ankle sprain. While San Francisco worked out veterans Sean Spence and Donald Butler earlier this week, the club has decided to go with a less experienced option in Lee.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings’ 53-Man Roster Set

The Vikings made their mandatory cuts to pare their roster down to the 53-man ceiling. Here are the rearrangements Minnesota made to set its regular-season roster.

Cut:

Placed on IR:

Placed on Reserve/PUP list:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Placed on Reserve/Suspended list:

Draft Pick Signings: 5/30/17

The latest draft pick signings from around the NFL:

  • The Vikings announced four draft pick signings today (via Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com): third-round center Pat Elflein, sixth-round tight end Bucky Hodges, seventh-round linebacker Elijah Lee, and seventh-round safety Jack Tocho. Meanwhile, a source indicated that seventh-round wideout Stacy Coley also agreed to a contract and is expected to sign his deal later on Tuesday. Having seemingly signed five more rookies, that leaves running back Dalvin Cook as the Vikings’ lone unsigned pick. However, a source said that the second-round pick is expected to sign his rookie contract at some point this week.
  • The Giants signed fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman today, reports Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (via Twitter). It’s a four-year deal worth $2.8MM, with a signing bonus worth more than $400K. The former Clemson standout previously earned a spot on the All-ACC Second Team during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, and the organization is hoping that those talents will translate to the NFL. As Schwartz notes, this leaves first-round pick Evan Engram as the team’s lone unsigned rookie. The tight end finished his final season at Ole Miss with 65 receptions for 926 yards and eight touchdowns.

Chad Kelly Not Invited To Draft Combine

The NFL invited upwards of 300 players to this year’s draft combine in Indianapolis, but Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon were not among those on the list. Kelly was not invited to the NFL combine based on off-field issues, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. The same presumably goes for Mixon after video surfaced of him striking a woman.

In accordance with rules passed by the NFL last year, players with felony or misdemeanor convictions are not permitted to attend the combine. All players who wish to participate must submit to a background check. If a player’s background check unearths any conviction involving violence, he is turned away.Chad Kelly (vertical)

After suffering a a torn ACL and lateral meniscus in the fall, it’s not certain that Kelly would have been able to participate in combine drills even if he was invited. If Kelly is healthy enough to work out between now and late April, it’s a good bet that he’ll be able to get interested teams to watch him up close. That will go a long way towards dictating where Kelly might go in the draft. Recently, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller wrote that Kelly is “still an intriguing quarterback prospect in a bad overall class.” Meanwhile, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report heard back in November that the Ole Miss product was being viewed by evaluators as a Day 3 prospect.

We also have conflicting reports on Mixon. One area scout assigned to the Sooners told Albert Breer of The MMQB recently that he’s confident some team will weather the PR storm and draft him. Hours later, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted that Mixon is still undraftable in the eyes of many teams.

Other notable prospects left without invites include Kansas State linebacker Elijah Lee, Ole Miss wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, Michigan offensive linemen Erik Magnuson and Kyle Kalis, Baylor receiver Ishmael Zamora, and Houston linebacker Steven Taylor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.