Final cuts came down Saturday by 6:00 pm, once all players are released teams have the right, in reverse order of finish last season, worst to best, to claim available players off waivers, those players get another shot at NFL life. The players that are not claimed are now free agents, able to sign with any team with a contract offer. Teams will now begin building their practice squads.
The practice squad is basically an eight man mini roster for developmental players, they are not on the active roster hence cannot play in games. In every other way they are just other players on the team. Practice squad players are considered free agents and can be signed by any team at any time, with the player's current team having the right of first refusal to match the offer and keep the player. There are other rules governing practice squad eligibility and salary, a good recent round up of those rules is here.
The practice squad roster changes continually as players are released, added and promoted to active roster. Here is your Redskins 2010 season opening practice squad:
WR Terrence Austin
LB Mike Balogun
T Selvish Capers
C/G Erik Cook
DE/LB Rob Jackson
T Will Robinson
S Anderson Russell
TB Ryan Torain
Receiver Terrence Austin, seventh round draft pick this year, was part of a generally undistinguished group of receivers in camp, Terrence came on strong in the third and fourth preseason games and was just beaten out by Anthony Armstrong and Brandon Banks who will primarily be a returner.
Rookie Mike Balogun was not with the Redskins in camp or preseason, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers and released in final cuts, he is a local, from Upper Marlboro Maryland.
Offensive tackle Selvish Capers, also a seventh round draft pick this year, saw plenty of preseason action and got pushed around a lot, perhaps the team sees something in him, the quality of the typical practice squad offensive lineman is not terrific.
Guard slash center Erik Cook was yet another seventh round pick in April, another depth player I do not know much about.
Defensive end slash linebacker Rob Jackson was a seventh round selection in the doomed 2008 Redskins draft, he barely made it at this point and is not likely to make the season given the good performance of the outside linebackers so far.
Third year offensive tackle Will Robinson who has one of the best football names ever was on the Redskins practice squad last year and saw some action as a reserve at the end of the season, he is a prospect.
Safety Anderson Russell, signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in April, he is more naturally a strong safety than a free safety and there are no openings at the strong spot with LaRon Landry, Chris Horton and Reed Doughty there, with Kareem Moore hurt it pays to keep another guy around.
Tailback Ryan Torain is a two year veteran in his third season, he played for head coach Mike Shanahan in Denver, as a rookie in 2008 he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, it cost him 2009 as well, he was not on a roster last season. For my part I thought Ryan outplayed fellow backfield youngster Keiland Williams. Ryan looks frighteningly like former Redskins tailback Ladell Betts, right down to the number on the jersey.
Let the games begin.
Terrence Austin: Getty Images from here.