Marvin Lewis unhappy that Bucs got Dezmon Briscoe from Bengals

NFL practice squad players are typically paid $5,200 a week, which translates to $88,400 for a full season. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are paying one practice squad player a salary of $310,000. And Bengals coach Marvin Lewis isn’t happy about that.

The player is wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, a sixth-round draft pick of the Bengals this year. When Briscoe didn’t make the Bengals’ 53-man roster at the end of the preseason, they wanted to add him to their own practice squad. But the Bucs offered Briscoe significantly more money, so he joined Tampa Bay’s practice squad instead. And while that doesn’t violate the letter of the league rules, Lewis thinks it does violate the rules’ spirit.

“When you overpay a guy on the practice squad, you create a problem in the system for teams,” Lewis said, per “I don’t know that teams want to set that precedent. They did with Dez. That’s not the great precedent for teams to set as we try to keep the NFL doing the things we’re trying to do as a league. It’s still a league of 32 teams and things are put together a certain way.”

But while Lewis doesn’t like what the Bucs did, Briscoe likes it a lot.

“They signed me up and paid me more than the practice squad usually gets, knowing that I will have a chance to really come in and help the team,” Briscoe said. “That shows their commitment to me and I appreciate it.”

Briscoe is right: For all the talk that the Bucs are cheap, this is a case of a team investing a little more money to get a talented player. And if Lewis has a problem with that, his problem should be with Bengals owner Mike Brown for not matching the Bucs’ offer.

43 responses to “Marvin Lewis unhappy that Bucs got Dezmon Briscoe from Bengals

  1. Hard to agree with Marvin on this one. He’s got a problem with a dude making 310K instead of 88K. then he calls him out for being overpaid. seems pretty low. if you watned to keep him, you could have paid him.

  2. If Marvin thinks the teams should agree not to overpay players on the practice squad, then he must be a big fan of collusion.

  3. Paying a practice squad player 1st year player minimum, isn’t anything to praise. One decision Mike Brown did get right. What next. They going to offer a practice squad player vet minimum?

  4. Lewis looks foolish for crying about this. It’s a completely legit way to woo a player and if Marvin wanted him he should have asked Mike Brown to pony up….Oh wait….errrr….sorry Marvin, you lose.

  5. no shit sherlock
    I wonder how long Roger Goodell took before calling him and telling him to shut up and stop acting like he’s colluding when in reality nobody who matters cares what he says about the issue.

  6. “I don’t care what you think Marvin” – Dezmon Briscoe’s Bank Account
    Players who are on the verge of not even being in the league at all (practice squads or undrafteds) need to take anything they can get while they can. This is there job and they are trying to make a living. 310,000 is a hell of a lot more than 88,000.

  7. Cant blame Dez or the Buc’s. Who wouldnt go to a job paying 4 times more than the norm. Bengals coulda dug deep in an uncapped year and kept this kid if they so desired.

  8. Lewis does have a problem w/Mike Brown….*see unsigned contract extension.
    Mike Brown is going to continue to undermine the limited success Marvin has had…*ie: see OC Bob Bratkowski still being employed. Until Mike Brown dies then hands the franchise off to his chipmunk of a daughter (then she subsequently dies) we will be stuck w/the worst FO in the league….

  9. Bottom line: if the players is worth $310 K to the Bucs, then why shouldn’t he be paid that. Marvin Lewis is in favor of NFL teams colluding to keep salaries down?

  10. This sems like the kind of decision that put TB in the basement of their division in the first place. Well done… again. It seems like Tampa is headed back to their classic place in the league. It also seems like Arizona will be joining them soon.

  11. “Paying a practice squad player 1st year player minimum, isn’t anything to praise. One decision Mike Brown did get right. What next. They going to offer a practice squad player vet minimum?”
    It doesn’t matter, it’s the Bengals and Brown so the MSM aren’t going to argee with them. If those words came out of Belichick, Fisher, Tomlin, etc then it would be praised for criticizing a flawed system.

  12. The other 31 teams know that you can’t expose a player you want to keep to the practice squad. Lewis is apparently an idiot.

  13. Uhhh…so basically Marv Lewis just made a public invitation to collude with the other teams in the league to not pay practice squad players more than $5,200 per week. This is a no-no under the antitrust laws.

  14. This is why rules are made. Teams like the Bucs (for this specific thing) take a good thing and stretch it to work for them. In real life, this is how people make it to the top, but in sports, this is sort of lame, and in bad taste.

  15. Cmon Marvin, you should be worrying about your “offensive juggernaut” of a team that has trouble winning instead of a 6th rounder that’s chillin on your practice squad…

  16. Just how freaking dumb is Marvin Lewis?
    It is ok to be pissed at losing your guy because your GM is too cheap to pay the man. It is the epitome of stupid to publicly endorse collusion among the teams of the NFL in the midst of a huge labor dispute and congressional investigations.

  17. Bill Parcells used to overpay his own practice squad players all the time to ensure they wouldn’t sign 53-man roster contracts with another team. This isn’t new.

  18. At one point in camp, the Bengals had 10 or 11 receivers on the roster. Hoarding probably isn’t in the spirit of the rules, either.

  19. Marvin’s comments sure scream anti-trust collusion to me.
    ” That’s not the great precedent for teams to set as we try to keep the NFL doing the things we’re trying to do as a league. It’s still a league of 32 teams and things are put together a certain way.”

  20. i love how people complain about practice squad players….in many ways they are like free agents….how much could he have liked him and be distraught over this if he put him on the practice sqaud…. get him on the team if u want him….
    as far as the “system” how the hell could he care about anybody bucking the system….how many convicts has he drafted/signed??? btw he he suck as a coach..if he were white, he would have lost his job years ago

  21. Hey Marvin (coach of my favorite team and a guy I have questioned more than once):
    Last I checked this is America! How on earth can you be mad at another guy for taking more money than your tight wad owner would pay, or another team for enticing him to come to them (where the need at WR is legit)?
    Get with the times. You got beat out in the game of practice squad cat and mouse. Play the game or get beat by it.

  22. This is very common. The only surprise here is that the Bucs, one of the cheaper teams in the league, was willing to pay. The Bengals, probably the cheapest team in the league (note the lack of scouting department), are going to rely on the “spirit” of the rule but many teams expand their roster this way. There are many players who’ve also left practice squads where they were getting paid the minimum salary for a shot at a roster spot, costing themselves some job security.
    A number of years ago the owners had a vote to expand the practice squad from 5 to 8 players. There were only a few dissenters but I believe Mike Brown was one of them. His objection was almost entirely financial.

  23. Hey Marvin,
    By rule you every right to pick this kid off the practice squad and place him on your 53 man roster, were you would pay the league minimum, of course, you should only do this if you think he is any good!
    Of course, if he isn’t good enough to be on your 53 man roster, why do you care?

  24. I understand comming to PFT I have to accept that most people making comments and the people who run this site are against the Bengals Owner, Coach and most players.
    Fine I get that. If your not sucking up to a Rapist supporting team or Mikes pick of the Ravens or up the butt of any of the “Top” teams you dream about then everyone else is crap.
    Marvin made a valid point that the issue at hand is more important than losing just this player.
    The practice squad is a developmental squad for players that are not ready. If Tampa would have taken the player and put him on their rooster and paid him league minimum than fine, but they took a player and used a free agent tactic to get him.
    Hopefully this will get changed after the next contract but this did set a bad precedent that could hurt even the mighty Ravens or Squeelers.
    And if it did happen to one of your teams you would all be bitching just as much as a Bengals fan.

  25. Wow, is Lewis really that ignorant? Teams pay practice squad players above the minimum to secure their services ALL THE TIME. It’s a totally routine way to compete for free agents.
    Take a look at this page that breaks down Patriots player $$. It includes practice squad guys, and half of them are paid above the minimum.
    Oh wait, Marvin works for the Bengals. No wonder he didn’t realize it was legal to pay above the minimum. Probably he fell for that “coaching salary cap” line, too!

  26. Maybe the Bengals could have matched the offer if they hadn’t blown all the money on L. Coles and A. Bryant. The Bengals should try some due diligence for once. As far as Briscoe I think he has potential to be a star in this league but with Josh Freeman at the helm I dont see it happening in TB

  27. More power to the players. Like baseball, the minor players are paid very poorly in relation to the average and the top players. The league needs to share the wealth more. I don’t blame Dez one bit for signing for more money.

  28. If this player was so valuable.., why is he only on the practice squad? If he covets the player.., why can’t the Bengals bring him back as part of their 53 man roster?
    Marvin needs to get over himself

  29. Here’s a game I play: trying to catch Marvin Lewis ever telling you anything you didn’t already know, just check his quotes. Now I know why he (generally) pursues this policy. Because, when he does say something new, as in his quote about Briscoe, it’s incredibly stupid. As Mark Twain said, ‘Better to say nothing, and have people think you’re stupid, than to say something, and remove all doubt.’

  30. “And if Lewis has a problem with that, his problem should be with Bengals owner Mike Brown for not matching the Bucs’ offer.”
    Wrong answer. When you offer to sign one practice squad member to the rookie minimum, you got 7 other players and agents coming to you and saying “why am I only getting the measly $5,200 a week?”. I have to imagine it’s happening with the Bucs unless they signed all of their practice squad players to the same deal. There’s no rule against what the Bucs did but what Marvin’s saying is that they ignored a general unwritten rule. It’s no different then when a batter in a baseball walks behind the catcher and umpire on the way to the plate instead of crossing in front of them. It’s a general unwritten rule that shows respect.
    Besides, for all the flack that the Bengals receive for having a horrible scounting department, the Bucs seem to love it. This is the 3rd time that they have swiped a player from under us in the last 2 seasons (Chris Pressley, Corey Lynch, Dex Briscoe).

  31. I followed the Bengals closely in the preseason. They intentionally tried to hide Briscoe (not play him) all preseason so he would clear waivers and they could keep him on their practice squad while they continued to cover-up the mistake they made (now 3 years ago) in drafting Jerome Simpson in the 2nd round and paying him over $2MM.
    Briscoe is clearly a very young (only 20 yrs old) and talented player who has a real chance to be a big time WR in the League. He had 32 career TDs in 28 games in the Big 12, including 3 TDs @ OU and a kickoff return for TD @ Texas. He ran “slow” (4.56 at his pro day) and dropped on draft day. That happens every year and there are mannnnny examples of big time players in the League who both ran “slow” or went later in the draft- See: Fitzgerald= 4.61, Welker=4.62 and undrafted, Bolden= 4.58, etc…
    All the Bengals had to do, was cut their losses with Simpson (who has not even been active all year… and has 2 recs over the last 3 seasons) and keep the cheaper, younger, and better player in Briscoe. Lewis knows this and that’s why he’s mad.
    For him to actually take a shot at Briscoe (after he tried to screw him in preseason) and his situation is astonishing and sad!! Very low class. The Bucs should activate Briscoe this week and let him ball against that pathetic man and his underachieving team… as usual.

  32. If he had to start paying big bucks to practice squad players, Lewis wouldn’t have enough money to sign more turds to his starting roster collection. If he collects a full turd set, he can trade them in for prizes.

  33. It’s not collusion, you nitwits. It’s called a WAGE SCALE. Most unions have one, and the players are in a union. Is everyone crying about collusion because of the existence of a veteran or rookie minimum? It’s an agreement between the league and union, that doesn’t constitute collusion.
    While you can’t blame Briscoe for taking the money, and the union will never complain if a player makes more, Lewis wants the teams to honor the agreements. Aren’t the majority of us dismayed by the outrageous rookie salaries for those who were drafted? Now teams are going to start bidding wars over practice squad players??? Marv does have a point.

  34. Maybe Lewis should give some back if he’s so interested in proper financial disbursements. Just sayin…

  35. Ok, first, Marv’s comments were stupid and childish, yes.
    Second, you morons, Briscoe was the victim of a numbers game, not some el cheapo game. This team was loaded with WR’s and they couldn’t keep them all, it’s that simple, they tried to hide him so he cleared waivers and got caught, no big deal.

  36. # bigd7387 says:
    “The practice squad is a developmental squad for players that are not ready.”
    Not allowing a player to move off of the practice squad, by your reasoning, is nothing more than indentured servitude.
    And “not ready” by who’s standard? Is it that the player is not ready for the team…or is the team not ready for the player? You cannot either stash or stifle talent. It’s called restraint of trade, and the anti-trust lawyers would be all over what they would, no doubt, claim to be “slavery.”
    A black coach, condoning slavery…not cool.
    Besides…Cincy sucks. Go BROWNS!

  37. 310 is a lot to pay for a scrub, but in a league that generates billions, it’s nothing. I’m guessing it’s been a long time since Marvin tried to live on 88 stacks.

  38. Having seen DB play in person, he’s an absolute athletic freak. He’s not a track star, but he’s fast enough to get separation, has excellent leaping ability, and tremendous hands. He had some injury issues and needs to develop into a better route runner. In lieu of the indentured servitude of playing for KU, he opted to enter himself into the NFL Draft. The team who picked him didn’t want to pay him as well as a team who wants to cultivate his talents. Given that there may be a protracted lack of play, a player of his age and physical ability has a lot of long-term value.
    Practice squad guys should try and get what they can as soon as they can. A receiver tandem of Williams and Briscoe will be awfully dangerous in the next couple of years.

  39. The Bengals could easily go back and simply sign Briscoe to the roster at the league minimum if they really wanted him and that would make of Tampon Bay’s skirting of the unwritten rules a moot point.

  40. to crex43- Why would DB sign to Cincys 53 for minimum?? He obviously would decline such an offer, which he’s entitled to do. That makes no sense- he would make the exact same money to go back to a team that cut him to keep guys he’s wayyyy better than and also where his future at WR moving forward is uncertain? Orrrr, stay with Bucs, who have committed to him and his future development and he’ll have a great chance to be a heavy contributor in the near future!!

  41. Broncos pulled this same crap with Diyral Briggs. Offered him double to sign with their PS over the Niners.

  42. Most of you people are the idiots, not Lewis. He’s simply commentating on the systematic implications of teams taking liberties to create new precedents. Sneaky people/teams will always find loopholes (Spygate?), but it doesn’t make it right or “good for the game” to take advantage of them. I’m sure Marv HAS had this idea himself, but then decided not to push it because it’s just not good for the system.

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