Wildcats in the NFL

Scott has chance to make NFL team’s practice squad, Gronk reportedly not on PUP list



Anthony Gimino of TucsonCitizen.com has a rundown of the 10 former Arizona players who made the final cut for spots on NFL rosters

Former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott knows how the NFL is an unforgiving business.

Scott was cut Friday by Jacksonville after playing the entire preseason with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent. Ricky Stanzi, waived by Kansas City last week, was signed by Jacksonville as the No. 3 quarterback, forcing Scott off the roster.

Scott, who played for Jacksonville quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo when Scelfo was at the UA, must now hope an NFL team signs him to its practice squad.

He completed 18 passes in 40 attempts for 170 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.

NFL rosters were pared to 53 Saturday and six former UA players, including Scott, were among the final cuts. Others released were receivers Dan Buckner and Mike Thomas by Arizona, tight end Fendi Onobun (a former UA hoops player) by Chicago, receiver David Douglas by Tampa Bay, defensive end D’Aundre Reed by Minnesota.

Now that the 53-player rosters are set, NFL teams will begin to fill their practice squads. Each team can have up to eight players on their practice squad. More than 250 players will be signed, which means Scott or other players with less than an accrued year of NFL service can stick in the league in that capacity.

(Left to right) Former UA quarterback Matt Scott, quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo and quarterback Nick Foles pictured last week before Philadelphia played Jacksonville last weekend (Matt Scott Twitter photo)

(Left to right) Former UA quarterback Matt Scott, quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo and quarterback Nick Foles pictured before Philadelphia played Jacksonville last weekend (Matt Scott Twitter photo)

Practice squad players earn significantly less than players on the active roster, but they still take home a solid weekly paycheck. NFL practice squad players make a minimum of $6,000 per week. There is no limit to how much a team can pay a player on the practice squad. Some will offer a higher weekly salary in order to entice better players to sign, although the practice squad contracts do count against the salary cap.

If a player remains on the practice squad for an entire regular season, he would earn $102,000. A player with less than one accrued season on the active roster would earn a minimum salary of $405,000.

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ESPN reported Saturday night that the New England Patriots will keep recovering tight end Rob Gronkowski on their 53-man roster, and not place him on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list

Enough progress has been made in Gronkowski’s recovery from forearm and back surgeries that a return within the six first weeks of the regular season is a realistic expectation, a source told ESPNBoston.com.

Had Gronkowski opened the year on the reserve/PUP list, he wouldn’t have been eligible to practice or play in a game for the first six weeks of the regular season. The Patriots currently have Gronkowski, four-year veteran Michael Hoomanawanui and rookie Zach Sudfeld at tight end.

This site will run statistic updates on former Wildcats who are active in the NFL throughout the season. Here are the preseason stats of those who survived the final cut:

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An overall list of UA players active in the NFL:

Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears
Eben Britton, G, Chicago Bears
Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Juron Criner, WR, Oakland Raiders
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Folk, PK, New York Jets
Robert Golden, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Earl Mitchell, NT, Houston Texans
Brooks Reed, LB, Houston Texans

WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.


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