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Looking at the New Practice Squad Rules for the Browns

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Last week, the NFL announced that they have increased the size of the practice squad from 8 players to 10 players for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. That wasn't the only change, though. In the past, anyone who has played in more than 8 games in a season would not be eligible for the practice squad. The new provisions allow a maximum of two players to be on the practice squad if they do not have more than two seasons under their belt.

With roster cuts having been announced earlier, the following two players are eligible for the practice squad under the new rules, either with the Cleveland Browns or any other team in the league:

  • TE MarQueis Gray - He played in 12 games as a rookie in 2013, which would have made him ineligible for the practice squad under the previous rules.
  • CB Leon McFadden - He played in 16 games as a rookie in 2013, which would have made him ineligible for the practice squad under the previous rules.

I originally thought that OG Garrett Gilkey would not be eligible for the practice squad, but he actually only played in six games last year, so he could be retained without using the "maximum of two players" provision. One thing to consider about the new rules is that Cleveland can take advantage of that rule with cuts from 31 other teams, so that might be a more attractive option to them than their own castoffs.

After 12:00 PM ET on Sunday, clubs may establish a practice squad often players. Here is my projection for the Browns' 10-man practice squad, although we could very well sign players from other clubs' cuts to it: QB Connor Shaw, WR Willie Snead, TE MarQueis Gray, OL Donald Hopkins, OL Garrett Gilkey, DL Calvin Barnett, DL Jacobbi McDaniel, OLB Justin Staples, S Josh Aubrey, and CB Leon McFadden.

I added Hopkins to the list over OL Reid Fragel because of the following:

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