Gotten this question a lot via e-mail or blog responses, so I figured I’d try to clear it up once and for all.
After they make final cuts, the Panthers will be able to establish an eight-man practice squad. To be eligible, a player can not have been on an active 45-man game-day roster for nine games in any season. (It’s not a cumulative thing, as a player who was up for six games one year and five the next would still be eligible. Also, years on injured reserve don’t count.) You can spend up to three years on the practice squad. This year, that brings a. salary of $88,400
That said, here’s a look at the players on the Panthers current roster who’d be eligible: QB Brett Basanez; RBs Jonathan Stewart and DeCori Birmingham; WRs Dwayne Jarrett, Chris Hannon, William Buchanon; TEs Gary Barnidge and Chad Upshaw; OL Ryan Kalil, Jeff Otah, Frank Omiyale, Rueben Riley, Mackenzy Bernardeau, Geoff Schwartz;
DEs Charles Johnson and Hilee Taylor; DTs Gary Gibson and Nick Hayden; LB Dan Connor, CBs C.J. Wilson and Darren Toney; Ss Nate Salley, Charles Godfrey and Joe Fields and K Rhys Lloyd.
Now, obviously this is a technical rather than a practical list, as I somehow don't think Stewart and Otah (or even Barnidge) would clear waivers and hang around for what amounts to around third of the rookie minimum.
But I think as you ponder roster construction, the eligibility of guys such as Basanez, Birmingham, Upshaw, Bernardeau, Schwartz, Taylor Salley and Wilson is something to keep in mind.