NFC West: Dean Muhtadi

NFC West practice squad eligibility

September, 5, 2010
NFL teams can begin signing eight or fewer players to their practice squads once the players clear waivers Sunday.

Players on practice squads earn $5,200 per week for the 2010 season. The collective bargaining agreement sets the following parameters for eligibility:
  • Players without an accrued season of NFL experience;
  • Free-agent players who were on the 45-man active list for fewer than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season;
  • Players who have not served more than two previous seasons on a practice squad.

According to the CBA, "A player shall be deemed to have served on a practice squad in a season if he has passed the club's physical and been a member of the club's practice squad for at least three regular-season or postseason games during his first two practice squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third practice squad season."

What about bye weeks? More CBA: "A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular-season or postseason weekend in question."

The first chart shows eligible players released by the Arizona Cardinals. Chris Johnson, Alfonso Smith and Mark Washington were waived/injured. Dean Muhtadi was released from injured reserve.

The second chart shows eligible players released by the Rams.

The third chart shows eligible players released by the 49ers (Brandon Long was released with an injury settlement).

The fourth chart shows eligible players released by the Seahawks (Jonathan Lewis was released with an injury settlement).

Darren Urban of explains the history behind the recent special-teams collision featuring veterans Joey Porter and Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald busted Porter's lip on the play. Fitzgerald pointed to his special-teams contributions from 2004, his rookie year. Fitzgerald: "Remember [gunner] Alex Bannister from Seattle, made All-Pro? We shut him down two games in a row, didn’t have a tackle in Seattle or here in Arizona. … I did do that. [Assistant defensive backs coach] Rick Courtright used to coach me on the technique. I don’t know if I could do it anymore …" In looking at NFL gamebooks from 2004, Bannister did have two special-teams tackles against Arizona in one game. The Cardinals totaled minus-2 yards on the two returns in question. Bannister also downed a punt at the Arizona 3. He was on injured reserve for the second game against Arizona that season. Bannister lasted the first two games in 2005 before suffering another season-ending injury. He never played for Seattle again and was out of the league after two games with Baltimore in 2006.

Also from Urban: a look at some personnel changes on the fringe of the Cardinals' roster. The team signed safety Aaron Rouse and linebacker Pago Togafau. Gone are defensive lineman Dean Muhtadi and linebacker Ali Highsmith.

More from Urban: Fitzgerald and Mike Adams got into a tussle Tuesday. Adams: "It was just a normal Fitz-and-Mike day. If Mike gets the better of Fitz … you can take it back to my rookie year, me and Fitz. We get into scuffles all the time. I get a little bit emotional at times. I guess it is that short man’s syndrome in me." The Cardinals list Adams at 5-foot-8 and 181 pounds. Fitzgerald checks in at 6-3 and 218.

More yet from Urban: Dominique Byrd is a candidate to help at fullback.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Deuce Lutui is enjoying a strong start to camp. Lutui has much on the line in camp, something I'll expand upon in a Cardinals Camp Confidential later Wednesday.

Also from Somers: First-round choice Dan Williams reported to Cardinals camp at 325 pounds, lighter than his target weight. He also passed a conditioning test.

More from Somers: classic quotes from Russ Grimm as the Cardinals' line coach and former Washington Redskins guard prepares for Hall of Fame induction. Grimm: "They have the schedule," said Grimm, the team's run-game coordinator and offensive-line coach. "I know there is something on Thursday night. My [clothes] are marked, 'This is what you wear on Thursday. This is what I have to wear Friday.' If it looks good, it looks good. If it doesn't ..."
Matt Maiocco of says continuity is the key storyline for the 49ers as they head to training camp. Maiocco on expectations: "The 49ers had their first non-losing season (8-8) since 2002, so the organization appears to be moving in the right direction. Two of those victories were against NFC West champion Arizona. With continuity on the offensive side for Alex Smith -- along with playmakers at running back (Frank Gore), tight end (Vernon Davis) and wide receiver (Michael Crabtree) -- the fan base clearly expects the 49ers to win the NFC West and return to the playoffs after a seven-year drought. Anything short of that will be a major disappointment."

Taylor Price of says fans seeking to buy tickets for training camp practices can do so beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT.

Also from Price: a photo of 49ers coach Mike Singletary in London.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says he does not view the 49ers as a "runaway favorite" to win the NFC West. Somers: "Coach Mike Singletary has to prove himself. The 49ers have showed steady improvement under Singletary, who showed better control over his emotions last season. But can Singletary take a team into the playoffs? He hasn't done it yet."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the 49ers still have a question mark at quarterback. Thomas: "With the Cardinals in a transition phase minus Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin, there are lots of reasons to pick the ‘Niners to win the West. But the one area that still makes you think the 49ers are pretenders rather than contenders is quarterback where despite some improvement last season, Alex Smith has yet to show he is an above-average QB."

Clare Farnsworth of says the team still has availability for fans seeking to attend training camp practices. The first practices, scheduled for 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. PT on July 31, are open to those who register.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks' decision to make available an additional 1,000 season-ticket packages means there's no hard waiting list for the first time in years. O'Neil: "That waiting list isn't exactly gone per se. Those who didn't opt to buy tickets when offered the chance earlier this offseason remain on the list, but for the first time in four years there is no wait to buy season tickets."

Also from O'Neil: He pegs the Seahawks' over-under at 6.5 victories this season. offers a transcript from Pete Carroll's recent chat on the site. Carroll: "I thought Matt Hasselbeck had a great offseason. We challenged the team to have the best offseason of their lives and many did. I was impressed with Matt's workouts, his conditioning and his command of the offense. He has exceeded our expectations so far to this point because of his work ethic."

John Morgan of Field Gulls says Carroll is saying the right things about Hasselbeck, but the decision to acquire Charlie Whitehurst, a player with vastly different skills, shows Hasselbeck isn't a good fit for the team's new offense under coordinator Jeremy Bates. Morgan: "Bates has proven he can coach an elite NFL offense, but he didn't do it with Matt Hasselbeck or a quarterback anything like Matt Hasselbeck. That is not some incidental sticking point. Bates cannot channel [Mike] Holmgren circa 2003 and be successful. Bates built a system that worked fantastically well in the modern NFL, and that system was built around an athletic quarterback with a cannon arm. You wouldn't force [Jay] Cutler onto Holmgren, yet some want to force Hasselbeck onto Bates." The best coaches can tailor their systems for the talent on hand. Some aren't willing or able to do so, and sometimes a player simply doesn't fit. Whitehurst figures to get his chance at some point, but how quickly?

The Post-Dispatch's Thomas provides a chat transcript featuring thoughts on key injury situations for the Rams. Thomas: "I'll just mention two. Jason Smith's fractured toe was a fairly significant injury. He would have missed multiple games had the injury occurred during the season. So that's concern No. 1. The other question, in my mind, is Bradley Fletcher's knee injury. By all accounts he was ahead of schedule as the offseason program wound down in mid-June. But the real test is about to come with the grind of training camp and preseason games. Will he be ready to go Day 1 in camp? Or will he have to be brought along slowly?"

Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat looks at issues that could come into play as the Rams seek to sign quarterback Sam Bradford. Balzer: "One complicating aspect of deals this year is that option bonus, which is normally placed in the second year of the contract and isn’t really guaranteed. With so much uncertainty related to the collective bargaining agreement, and continued speculation of a potential lockout in 2011, both sides in the negotiations have to figure out how to handle those bonuses."

Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 says Cardinals running back Beanie Wells has become a spokesman for Blimpie Subs -- as in sub sandwiches, not sub running backs. Wells' plan, presumably, is to start.

Darren Urban of says it could be "interesting" if Warner submits to a reality TV show, as has been rumored.

Mark Giannotto of The Washington Post profiles former Maryland defensive lineman Dean Muhtadi, who is trying to earn a roster spot with the Cardinals. Muhtadi apparently isn't very flashy. He can't recall the last time he purchased new shoes, for instance. Muhtadi: "I literally don't think I've bought a pair of shoes since high school -- maybe some dress shoes. But you know, they've got those real big shiny rims on their cars. I've got a 2003 Hyundai Elantra with the little plastic hubcaps still." Let's see whether Muhtadi's tastes change if he succeeds in the NFL. I remember former Raiders and Seahawks defensive back Terry McDaniel driving an old car (I think it was a Honda) years after earning millions as a Pro Bowl corner.