The other day I posted my way too early 53 man roster prediction. In my original 53 man roster prediction I included a 10 man practice squad prediction. At first I began not to include this part in my prediction.
I did so to include the last bit about the new info on the eligibility rule changes made for 2016 / 2017 season to pass along to other fans who didn’t catch that news.
When posting that practice squad list I tried to rely solely on my memory for player eligibility. My lack of fact checking players bios on Panthers.com lead to a couple of mistakes in my original draft of the practice squad prediction’s.
It was brought to my attention two players were not eligible from one of my tailgating friends Kristen Granito. So I went back to fact check all the players bios and made the corrections to the list.
During that discussion she brought up Wide Receiver Brenton Bersin and how she believed he wasn’t eligible either since I had him listed there. Which made me think there are a lot of fans who don’t think Bersin is eligible for the practice squad based off comments I have seen on social media.
So I thought today we could break down the reason’s why Wide Receiver Brenton Bersin is eligible for the practice squad in 2016.
Let’s start with the video below of Panthers Mail Bag with Max Henson of Panthers.com. This is what first sparked my interest in this subject back in May. When Max confirmed his practice squad eligibility in the video below.
Like everyone else prior to this I had thought based off memory that Bersin had used up his time on the practice squad. Which based on how long he has been on and off the Panthers team and how long he has been in the league it is an understandable misconception among fans.
It would be hard to think Max would make that kinda mistake being employed by the Panthers. Especially when he can fact check right from the source at Bank Of America Stadium.
Knowing the new practice squad eligibility rules pretty well and since the video didn’t go into details. I did some researching of Bersin’s career in the NFL to see how he would be able to be eligible even with the current rule changes.
Here are the details I found out when researching which should help other fans understand how Bersin will be eligible for the practice squad again in 2016.
First the new eligibility rules. Recently the rules have had a slight change for the 2016 / 2017 season. Before the 2014 season the NFL had made a change to allow two players with two accrued seasons to be placed on the 10 man practice squad.
Just recently the NFL and NFLPA bumped this up to four players with two accrued seasons. As reported by Mark Dominik of ESPN.
Prior to the start of the 2014 season, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to expand practice squad rosters from eight to 10 players for the next two seasons. According to Mark Dominik of ESPN.com, that agreement has now been extended for two more years.
In addition, the new extension also allows for two more players with some NFL experience to be eligible for the practice squad.
The agreement two years ago allowed for two players with as much as two seasons of accrued service time could still be eligible to be on a practice squad. The renewed agreement ups that numbers to four for the next two years.
How does this affect Bersin? Not a lot really since the rule was already in place for two players with two accrued seasons to be placed on the practice squad prior to this change.
This change only affects the Panthers ability to keep more players with game experience on the practice squad to develop this season.
Now to be able to better understand what I am about to say we need to explain how players can “accrue a season” and some points of the rules for eligibility.
To accrue a season a player must be active on the 53 man roster for 6 or more games in a season.
In this case Brenton Bersin was active for 9 games in 2015 and 15 in 2014. Which would equal out to 2 accrued seasons. Which passes one of the new eligibility rules for one of the 4 spots on the 10 man practice squad for players with 2 accrued seasons in 2016.
Next here are some key eligibility points to take notice of, which I will place in bold:
A player is allowed on the practice squad for up to two years, with one year counting as six weeks in a season. A third year on the practice squad is only allowed if the team keeps 53 players on the active-inactive list at all times.
Now based off these two points in the eligibility rules you can take away two things. Bersin was placed on the Practice Squad twice in his 4 year career in 2013 and 2015. The loop hole is in the eligibility and what counts as a year on the practice squad.
Bersin would have had to been on the practice squad for 6 weeks to count towards a full year on the practice squad. Based off his transaction log on Panthers.com in 2015 Bersin was signed to the practice squad on 9/7/15 and then signed to the roster on 9/25/15.
Signed as a free agent from practice squad by Carolina (9/25/15)…Signed to practice squad by Carolina (9/7/15)…Waived by Carolina (9/5/15)…Signed as a free agent by Carolina (1/14/14)…Signed to practice squad by Carolina (9/1/13)…Waived by Carolina (8/31/13)…Signed as a free agent by Carolina (5/13/13)…Waived by Carolina (8/27/12)…Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Carolina (5/11/12).
Meaning he did not qualify as being on the practice squad for a second year in 2015. Even if he had qualified for a full year. The other loop hole which would have given him another season on the practice squad would have been the next bold point above.
The team maintained a full 53 man roster (inactive and active) throughout the 2015 season. This would have qualified anyone that had accrued 2 years on the practice squad a 3rd year of eligibility for it.
Saying that if Bersin does not accrue a 3rd NFL season in 2016 and the current structure of rules stays in place allowing teams to keep multiple players with two accrued seasons in 2017.
There is a possibility Bersin could be eligible for the practice squad again in 2017. If the team maintains a full 53 man roster (active and inactive) all season and if he is on the Practice Squad to account for a full year (6 weeks). He would then be eligible for a 3rd year.
Another thing the team could do is what they did in 2015. The team could put Bersin on the practice squad but pull him from it before he accounted for a full season (6 weeks).
Then keep him active for less than 6 games during the season and inactive the rest of the season. This would preserve another year’s eligibility on the practice squad. IR is another way as well if he didn’t accrue those 6 weeks on either and for some reason ended up injured.
These are very interesting loop holes in the rules that could keep a player going into his 5th and possibly into his 6th season in the NFL on the practice squad.
In any case I thought given the confusion on his eligibility I would try to explain it in more detail. So what do you guys think? Am I right or wrong on his eligibility? Am I misinterpreting the rules? Let me know below.
Thanks again to Kristen for sparking this post and as always KEEP POUNDING!