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October 6, 2010 @ 9:03 am
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Lewis Upset Bucs Paying Practice Squader League Minimum

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is upset that the Bucs claimed WR Dezmon Briscoe off waivers and paid him the league minimum and put him on the practice squad. Also, Raheem Morris said that the Bucs practice squaders will be traveling with the team from now on.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis got hot under the collar on a conference call with Tampa Bay reporters when he was asked about wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, who was drafted by Cincinnati in the sixth round and was picked up by the Buccaneers after he was released at the end of the preseason and placed on Tampa Bay’s practice squad.

But instead of paying Briscoe the standard practice squad salary of $5,200 per week, Bucs general manager Mark Dominik liked him so much that he has paid the rookie receiver the veteran league minimum of $310,000 to keep other NFL teams from signing him off the practice squad and onto their 53-man roster.

“When you overpay a guy on the practice squad, you create a problem in the system for teams,” scoffed Lewis. “I don’t know that teams want to set that precedent. They did with Dez.

“That’s not the great precedent for teams to set as we try to keep the NFL 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.”

Briscoe, who had 219 catches for 3,240 yards and 31 touchdowns in three years at the University of Kansas, was high on Tampa Bay’s draft board, but passed over due to the fact that the team had acquired Arrelious Benn in the second round and Mike Williams in the fourth round.

“They signed me up and paid me more than the practice squad usually gets, knowing that I will have a chance to really come in and help the team,” Briscoe said. “That shows their commitment to me and I appreciate it.”

Lewis, who wanted to sign Briscoe to the Bengals practice squad, certainly did not appreciate Dominik’s aggressive stance on claiming the former Jayhawk star. When asked to give a scouting report on Briscoe, Lewis bristled at the notion.

“He’s a Bucs player now,” Lewis said. “I think you should probably ask Raheem about that.”

Morris responded to Lewis' comments in his Wednesday press conference.  

"I'm really not concerned about Marvin Lewis' comments about how we run our organization," said Morris. "It's a credit to our management, and our ownership, and what we want to do and how we wanted to go get him. That's really all there is to be said there. I heard that comment and that's Marvin's opinion."

Overpaying for non-rostered players like Briscoe isn’t the only unconventional move the Bucs are making with their practice squad. Because Morris has been so happy with the play of Briscoe and others on Tampa Bay’s practice squad, he has decided to bring his practice squad players on the road with the team to Cincinnati and the other road games. Traditionally, practice squad players are left behind and forced to watch the game on television.

“I walked into the team on Tuesday and told them I have a new policy change,” Morris said. “I’m traveling with my practice squad guys. I told them, ‘I’m looking at you guys when you go out there and practice every day. You guys are just as much a part of this team as anybody.’ What they give us is effort – the Dezmon Briscoes and guys like that – and the great looks they give us and the ability for those guys to maybe come up and help us one day.”

Last modified on Sunday, 10 October 2010 17:22

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  • avatar

    Lewis it sounds like whining to me and to boot you are lying, this is not uncommon, you just lost out, baby, go cry in you pablum with TOcho.
  • avatar

    Flyboy you are exactly correct, it is the player's choice at this point and there are no compelling reasons to leave and very compelling reasons to stay. Unless another team was serious enough to offer a signing bous and multi year contract, 53 man roster and with a good opportunity to play this year, a move to another team would be ludicrous, he's got it all going the right way here already and a good chance to get on the 53 man roster next year. Not going to happen, he's with the Bucs and he's staying.
  • avatar

    Two words...tough.spit. If you don't want to lose him, don't waive him.
  • avatar

    Dominik has been DOMINATING!!!!!!! Way to go Mark. Lewis is still pissed off that the Bucs did not hire him. Whine on Marvin.
  • avatar

    Buclifer: Salaries are paid out over a 17-week year. The practice squad minimum is $88,400 per year.
  • avatar

    Not sure I see a big difference in salary here. $5200 per week for 52 weeks would be $270,000 compared to $310,000 league min. Seems like a small diff to pay if you have someone on the PS that you don't want another team to poach. If thats the case, why don't all teams do it? Perhaps the PS players are only paid weekly for the regular season?
  • avatar

    this idiot can't win with one of the greatest QBs in the game, two HOF receivers and a top notch defense, and he is dogging the Bucs over a practice squad player IDIOT
  • avatar

    You guys who are saying Briscoe is still fair game for other teams don't understand how the practice squad works. It's not like the draft, where players have no choice of team. You can't just "take" a player off another team's practice squad. That player has to agree to a contract with you. It's the player's choice. Now, nearly 100% of practice squad players will jump at the offer to join another team's 53-man roster. Why? Because their pay quadruples if they do, that's why. Not to mention they actually have a chance to play in games. But in Briscoe's case he already makes the same amount he'd make if another team offered him a chance to join their roster. So pay is not an issue. And since he already knows it's only a matter of a short time before he's on the Bucs' roster that also is not an effective benefit. Plus, he now has loyalty to the Bucs because of the money they've paid him and because they believe in him. He's not going anywhere. You can take that to the bank.
  • avatar

    Flyboy you are excatly correct, it is the player's choice at this point and there are no compelling reasons to leave and very compelling reasons to stay. Unless another team was serious enough to offer a signing bous and multi year contract, 53 man roster and with a good opportunity to play this year, a move to another team would be ludicrous, he's got it all going the right way here already and a good chance to get on the 53 man roster next year. Not going to happen, he's with the Bucs and he's staying.
  • avatar

    Morris' reaction was even better. When asked about the fact that the Bucs' are OVER-paying for a player, he smiled and said, "Well, that's a new one." Very quick, and very funny.
  • avatar

    FO is really starting to learn the tricks in the NFL...after this week when Freeman puts up 250 yards on Cincy Marvin Lewis will have something else to complain about
  • avatar

    Just get rid of Stovall already, and put Briscoe on the roster. Mo has had more then enough time to prove himself, and has failed.
  • avatar

    Absolutely brilliant move by front office and ownership.
  • avatar

    Lewis sounds like a hater in this article, a bitter scorned woman to be more exact.
  • avatar

    I understand what Marvin Lewis is saying and I bet that next year this will not be allowed. Cudo's for coming up with this idea. Hey lets make this simple in the future; lets have no practice squad, and allow players placed on IR to come back to their team when healthy during that present season.
  • avatar

    He had the chance to keep briscoe first but he didn't and he is upset... why? Marvin lewis could take a long run and jump in a lake. Good job dominik
  • avatar

    irisht53, exactly, and even now, Briscoe is fair game to any NFL team. Just because he's on the practice squad doesn't mean he's off the market.
  • avatar

    If Briscoe had cleared wavers, they might have done the same thing. Sour Grapes.
  • avatar

    Yeah, I'm happy to read stories like this. When I saw the header I was worried Myron Lewis was the one upset at Briscoe's pay. Sorry I even considered that Myron. I'm glad it turned out to be another head coach who has a high payroll on his team but a .500 record so far this year.----------The move about flying out the practice squad does correlate with the argument that the owners are cheap. Paying for extra food and hotel rooms for players who have no chance at playing isn't a cheapo move. I don't know how wise it is overall, but it will certainly build comraderie (sp?) with the team.
  • avatar

    Agreed irisht...I don't understand what issue Marvin has with a team offering a contract to a player the team released.
  • avatar

    To me, it seems like Lewis is still bitter about not getting the job here. Don't blame him. Who the @%#$ would want to live in Cinncy?
  • avatar

    For anyone who listens to Moving the Chains on Sirius radio, this is a pretty common practice throughout the league when a team really likes a guy that they know is unlikely to help them on the field that year. Often times done with late round or undrafted QBs who make a really good impression in camp/preseaon. That being said, the Bengals had just as much opportunity sign Briscoe to a similar deal, they just chose not to. No reason for them to be bitter about it.
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