NFL Preseason: What it means for players on the fringe
Every year as fans we wait out the preseason knowing that for us and most of the star players in the NFL, it’s completely meaningless. For many players however, it could make the difference between the dream of playing professional football, or having to find a new way to support their families. The annual “fight for 53” as Ron Wolfley calls it here in Arizona, means out of a maximum of 90 players in camp only 53 will make the opening day roster.
Out of the 37 cut, a few may catch on with other teams. Some players may get signed on to the practice squad, which isn’t a bad living in itself, but not the achievement most players are hoping for. Last week I wrote about Tim Tebow, he is currently fourth on the depth chart at quarterback for the Eagles but has done enough so far to still be on the team. The thing is Tebow was a first round pick, and most guys fighting for a spot weren’t even drafted.
Some lesser known guys like Lache Seastrunk, a running back on Dallas’ roster, may not make it to the final preseason game without being cut. Long snapper Nate Boyer who was a green beret and a former walk on at Texas at the age of 29, was just released by Seattle to make room for a new signing. Like Tebow, Boyer is a guy a lot of people are pulling for, but given his position it will be difficult for him to make another roster. Especially since he is 34-years-old, age only works against you in this profession. These fringe players know that the preseason is their audition. Not just an audition for the team they come to camp with, but for every other team in the league who may see them during the game or on film afterwards. Some might end up playing in Canada or even having to use that degree they obtained while playing in college. Either way, they will be waiting by the phone during this upcoming season.
Kevin McQuade covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on twitter @kmcquade9