NFC West: Michael Jones

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).

Carroll hasn't really left the Pac-10

April, 30, 2010
The Seahawks have 26 players from Pac-10 schools on their roster heading into their post-draft minicamp.

The rest of the NFC West has a combined 25 players from the conference.

Seattle had more Pac-10 players than most teams even before the team hired Pete Carroll away from USC as head coach.

The numbers have only grown (and I have added the newly acquired LenDale White to Seattle's list).

Update: The team has re-signed safety Lawyer Milloy, formerly of the University of Washington. That makes the total 26.

A look at Pac-10 players from each NFC West team:

Arizona (7)

Quarterback Derek Anderson (Oregon State), quarterback Matt Leinart (USC), safety Matt Ware (UCLA), safety Hamza Abdullah (Washington State), tight end Jim Dray (Stanford), tight end Dominique Byrd (USC) and unsigned restricted free agent guard Deuce Lutui (USC).

St. Louis (7)

Quarterback A.J. Feeley (Oregon), receiver Brandon Gibson (Washington State), running back Steven Jackson (Oregon State), fullback Mike Karney (Arizona State), guard Mark Lewis (Oregon), receiver Jordan Kent (Oregon) and unsigned restricted free agent safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (Stanford).

San Francisco (11)

Safety Taylor Mays (USC), safety Dashon Goldson (Washington), cornerback Karl Paymah (Washington State), linebacker Keaton Kristick (Oregon State), guard Brian De La Puente (California), guard Chilo Rachal (USC), center Eric Heitmann (Stanford), tackle Adam Snyder (Oregon), receiver Kyle Williams (Arizona State), snapper Brian Jennings (Arizona State) and receiver Jason Hill (Washington State).

Seattle (26)

Linebacker Reggie Carter (UCLA), receiver Mike Williams (USC), cornerback Josh Pinkard (USC), receiver Reggie Williams (Washington), receiver Mike Hass (Oregon State), receiver Michael Jones (Arizona State), running back Justin Forsett (California), cornerback Marcus Trufant (Washington State), cornerback Walter Thurmond (Oregon), cornerback Roy Lewis (Washington), safety Will Harris (USC), running back Louis Rankin (Washington), fullback Ryan Powdrell (USC), linebacker Lofa Tatupu (USC), defensive end Dexter Davis (Arizona State), guard Max Unger (Oregon), center Jeff Byers (USC), guard Mike Gibson (California), receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Oregon State), tight end Anthony McCoy (USC), tight end Cameron Morrah (California), defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (California), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (USC), LenDale White (USC), Lawyer Milloy (Washington) and defensive end Nick Reed (Oregon).

Common threads through Seattle WRs

April, 16, 2010
The Seahawks have five tall receivers from the Pac-10 after signing former No. 1 draft choices Mike Williams and Reggie Williams following a three-day minicamp.

The Pac-10 connection is somewhat by chance. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Oregon State) and Mike Hass (Oregon State) were already on the roster when the Seahawks hired coach Pete Carroll from USC.

But there's no question the Seahawks are getting bigger at the position. They have four receivers 6-foot-4 and taller. Eight of their 11 receivers are at least 6 feet tall.

Seattle has had tall receivers in the past, including Jordan Kent (6-4). But some of their key wideouts -- Bobby Engram (5-10) and Darrell Jackson (6-0) -- would be on the smaller side relative to the current group.

"Historically, if you look back at our past, we love big guys, and have had a lot of success with them and haven’t changed our attitude on that at all," Carroll told reporters Thursday.

Carroll also singled out Branch, suggesting he could play a significant role in the offense.

"I think he recognizes that and really embraced it and is excited about what is going on," Carroll said.

Seahawks might need Branch for now

March, 27, 2010
The trade or release of Deion Branch seemed almost fated during the 2009 season.

Branch was making lots of money. He wasn't producing at a high level. He had injury concerns. He didn't seem to fit the offense. The team was losing.

Subsequent events make Branch appear more valuable to Seattle, at least in the short term:

  • No salary cap. The dissolution of the salary cap removed the most relevant framework for valuing players. The more than $5 million owed to Branch for the 2010 season was arguably too much relative to a salary cap. Take away the cap, however, and carrying that salary becomes easier to justify.
  • Diminished receiver depth. The Seahawks watched Nate Burleson leave in free agency after determining they weren't going to value him at more than $9 million, the amount paid to franchise players at the position. Subtracting Burleson leaves Seattle with Branch, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deon Butler, Ruvell Martin, Patrick Carter, Mike Hass, Michael Jones and restricted free agent Ben Obomanu as the Seahawks' receivers. The expected signing of Sean Morey will help the special-teams situation more than the receiver situation.

Given the latter item, can the Seahawks afford to part with Branch at this point? They have shown little fear in flushing out depth at other positions -- safety comes to mind -- but keeping Branch at least in the short term makes sense on another level. I think the Patriots would welcome him back. Branch also has ties to Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, although I'm not sure if Denver has interest in him. Branch could have some value beyond what he offers on the field. Another reason to keep him for now.

Acquiring Brandon Marshall from Denver would make it easier to justify parting with Branch. Adding a starting-caliber receiver in the draft could also affect the thinking. Right now, however, Branch is one of the two best receivers on the team.