- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA, Fla. – Just to fill you in on a little behind-the scenes dynamics in the NFL, there’s a long-standing tradition where the coach and a key player do Wednesday conference calls with media in the city of the upcoming opponent.
It’s how writers get quotes for stories on the out-of-town teams, but these conference calls are usually pretty boring. That started off being the case this afternoon when Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis was on the phone with the Tampa Bay media.
But, suddenly, Lewis erupted and ripped the Buccaneers when he was asked about receiver Dezmon Briscoe, who was drafted in the sixth-round by the Bengals this year. Briscoe was cut at the end of the preseason and the Bengals planned to bring him back to their practice squad at the standard salary of around $80,000.
The Buccaneers, however, stepped in and made an unusual move. They signed Briscoe to their practice squad, but they did it for the $325,000 minimum salary for players on the active roster.
"When you overpay a guy on the practice squad, you create a problem for teams,'' Lewis said. "I don't know that teams want to set that precedent and they did with Dez.
"That's not a great precedent for teams to set as we try to keep the NFL and doing the things we're trying to do as a league. It's still a league of 32 teams and things are put together a certain way.''
I get Lewis’ point, but the Bucs did what they felt was necessary. Besides, the Bucs are 2-0 against the Bengals so far this season. They got Briscoe and they also got the last laugh as the Bengals paid a ton of money to former Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Bryant and had to turn around and cut him.