Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Why Booty is practice-squad eligible
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
A number of you questioned Monday's assertion that Minnesota quarterback John David Booty is eligible for the practice squad. After all, there are a number of places in cyberspace that note practice squad players must have less than one accrued year of NFL experience. Booty, the Vikings' No. 3 quarterback last season, was credited with a year of experience last season and is officially entering his second year in the league.
But after checking with people who would know -- and consulting the official version of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement -- I can tell you that Booty is, in fact, eligible for the practice squad this season.
The short version of the explanation is that the CBA allows for two possibilities in eligibility. (You can check Article XXXIV, Section 4(a) if you're interested in the exact language.)
Less than one accrued season is one marker for eligibility. But a player with one accrued season can be eligible if he was active for fewer than nine regular-season games during that season. Technically, Booty was active for only one game last year and was on the game-day inactive list for the other 15 as the Vikings' No. 3 quarterback.
After seeing this passage in the CBA, I confirmed Booty falls under this category. It's relatively rare but does exist.
With all of that said, I have no idea if the Vikings will try to sneak Booty onto the practice squad. Doing so requires a player to pass through waivers, meaning he could be claimed by another team before the Vikings have a chance to sign him to the practice squad. Minnesota lost quarterback Tyler Thigpen that way in 2007 when Kansas City claimed him.
All this really means is the Vikings have the option to attempt the maneuver if they want. It would allow them to keep backups Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels on their active roster while continuing to develop Booty. Will it happen? We'll know in a few weeks.
Meanwhile, watch the video below to find out why Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen believes he could be one of Brett Favre's top targets.