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Developmental QB slot - a way to groom QBs.


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So I'm bringing this back. Because I think it could serve to help teams around the league. Especially teams like ours. 

This is a way to help fix the QB situation by not having the developmental QB on the Practice Squad (and thus be eligible to be poached). 

1.) Expand the roster to 56. Its really 55 but with 1 "extra" slot that MUST be taken by a QB - this would put 4 QB's on the roster if a team normally keeps 3 QB's. 3 QB's on the roster if the team keeps 2 (but many teams only keep 2) 
2.) The QB would be a "developmental QB" that could workout in OTA's and play in pre-season. But could not play during the season unless the previous 2 (or 3) QB's on the roster have gone on IR 
3.) You could set a fixed salary for the job (vet minimum maybe? or something lower perhaps?) that does not count against the cap 
4.) Set something like a max of "x" years that the QB could be set in the slot. 3 years sounds good to me right now. 
5.) Veterans who were on a roster are not eligible to be placed there (to avoid teams hiding quality QB's in that spot) 
6.) The player cannot be lured away (like practice squad players could) and signed by another team during the year. But could "re-up" each year with the same team for the same spot. Or the team could sign the player (like a RFA) and if that was the case, they couldn't put them in the developmental slot. 

So this is a modified "practice squad" type of spot. But this way, it helps develop a young QB. The QB's spot is "protected" somewhat. The team gets to groom a young QB. 

What do you think guys? 

I'm sure its not perfect but I think if we can get some good suggestions and modifications we could do something that is workable. 

P.S. = I also added 2 more roster spots b/c its clear that many teams (including our Redskins) could use an extra 2 bodies on the sidelines.

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1 hour ago, mike23md said:

Is it possible that this could be looked at for every position? But combining a few like DL, CB/S, OL. 

Would there need to be equality along the lines that the QB doesn't look as though its favored? 

I dunno. That's kinda what the practice squad is for. But this being a QB league, I think you have to put a bit more emphasis on the position. Which is why I added two more roster spots and then created a special spot for the developmental QB. This way, instead of a team burning a 53 man roster spot on him, or exposing him to the PS, they keep 2 QBs and the other 53 (now that its 55+1 slots) are filled with those other positions. It makes it easier to keep two more "bubble" guys at those other positions while still addressing the fact that as QBs go down the level of play tends to drop as well.

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I like the idea from the team standpoint. And from a “benefit of football” standpoint. 

But I think the hold-up will be the incentive for the players to prefer this slot to the practice squad. Obviously from their perspective, their goal will be to find their way onto an active roster — which they CAN do from a practice squad, either onto their current team or another team that would poach them. Getting them to willingly sign away any ability (barring a rash of QB injuries on their team) to make a roster and potentially get on the field that season could be a tough sell.

I think you’d definitely have to make it worth their while with an active roster salary. Give them a little short-term financial bonus for giving up the upside of a chance at making an active roster. That might do the trick in getting them to opt for this slot over the PS, especially if you’re limiting it to guys who have never been on an active roster (and might need the money more).


The other issue that’s coming to my mind is how long-term the commitment would be. Would the team be spending all season giving reps to a non-roster QB and developing him, only to see him get to hit FA in the offseason and go off elsewhere? Seems like they’d want to have at least a right of first refusal to retain the player, just to ensure that they are able to get the return on their investment if it pays off.


The last thing is that the NFLPA might have a fight on their hands if they sign off on a CBA that has a provision like this that openly favors some union members over the rest. Could imagine a big push-back from the rank and file members if the QBs get a special opportunity that isn’t open to the rest of them. 

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Just throwing out some think-abouts, because I love ideas like this that look to creatively improve the game. You’ve obviously thought about a ton of the issues and refined the idea a lot, so I just wanted to toss out a couple other issues that you may need to iron out to make it workable in terms of selling it to the folks who would need to sign off on it. 

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Yeah, great thoughts @e16bball. Let me chew on them.

Reflexively thinking so I haven't refined responses yet, I DO think the slot needs a minimum roster salary instead of the lower payments the PS gets. And maybe the gist is that the team gets the rights to the player for 2 years? So its a 2 year salary (paid whether they keep them after the first year or not), with an option for year 3 but allowing the player to go to another team after year 2 if the current team doesn't pick them up. 

And yeah, I was anticipating the NFLPA problem. Not sure how to get around that one.

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I like the idea of expanding the rosters more than a developmental slot.

For the developmental slot, you'd have to have some rules about pay and how long they can be on there. And I think a team should be able to sign your developmental slot, but they have to put him on the active roster AND they lose their developmental slot.

Also, I think three years is too long. Two years, with a big pay increase on the second year. Also, when placed on the active roster, there has to be a contract limit. Like two or three years. Doesn't seem fair to draft a guy, keep him on the developmental slot, then get to sign him for like a 5 year period.

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