Time for NFL to consider a version of NBA’s 10 day contract?
By Bret Stuter
Rams GM Les Snead would shine with an NFL 21-day contract option
Most of all, it adds a unique and creative option that will only enhance the likes of LA Rams GM Les Snead to work his magic with the Rams roster. As more and more teams rifle through players to address injuries, depth needs for specific opponents on their schedule, and even to audition players who may appear to intrigue but who are not inviting enough to get signed to a regular season contract.
For players, the option adds a way for marginal players to earn a spot on an NFL roster, earn playing time and experience, and showcase their talents for a team over the course of 21 days or three games. It is an alternative to the Practice Squad, in that it conveys temporary exclusivity to that team over the duration of the contract. When it expires, no harm and no foul. That player becomes immediately available to sign with a new team.
Isn’t it time for a change?
Too radical for fans? I’m not so sure. If NFL teams like the LA Rams continue to suffer an increasing number of injuries over the course of a season, then the current rules that govern IR won’t cut it. A temporary NFL contract gives NFL GMs across the league the ability to reinforce the roster at the hardest hit positions while practice squad players can be fast-tracked into the ability to start for the team.
The option to add a player to a short-duration contract opens up many NFL veteran players who may be perceived to have lost a step to give it a go with a new NFL team. It also gives a beachhead for players whose reputation may have been tarnished by the wrong fit with a previous team. But can’t NFL teams accomplish the same thing with the practice squad?
Not exactly. Even the practice squad limits the number of players who are considered veterans. As a result, NFL teams hesitate to sign veterans to their practice squad early as those types of slots may be needed later in the season.
A perfect solution? Not exactly. But it would have been a wonderful roster-building weapon for the LA Rams GM Les Snead to have at his disposal. And with whispers of extending the regular season to 18 games, the need to infuse more roster flexibility should be at the forefront of NFL discussions now.
Just something to ponder and put on your radar. After all, it would impact all NFL teams, but you know as well as I do that the LA Rams would be one of the NFL teams to make optimal use of a short-duration contract. So yeah, I’m all for it.