The Green Bay Packers thought enough of Matt Rotheram to quadruple the rookie offensive lineman’s practice-squad salary earlier this week.
Rotheram, an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh, made the standard $6,600 per week for the first 13 weeks this season before the Packers bumped that figure to $25,588 on Tuesday, according to a source with access to the NFLPA salary database.
The 6-foot-4, 325-pound offensive lineman joins rookie sixth-round pick Christian Ringo as practice-squad players earning the same weekly compensation that rookie and first-year players make. The number is prorated from the minimum $435,000 base salary.
The Packers typically will give practice-squad players a raise to prevent them from signing onto another NFL team’s active roster. They used the same formula in the past to keep receivers Tori Gurley (Minnesota) and Diondre Borel (Tampa Bay), and quarterback Scott Tolzien (Cleveland) from bolting.
Pilfering is commonplace in the final two months of the season with rebuilding teams often trying to sign prospects off other teams’ practice squads to develop for the next year.
Rotheram took a pre-draft visit with the Packers and agreed to sign minutes after he went undrafted in May. He was one of 10 players to be given a $5,000 signing bonus. While he was among the team’s final cuts, Rotheram was signed to the practice squad the following day.
Ringo, a 6-foot-1, 298-pound defensive lineman out of Louisiana-Lafayette, was the only member of the Packers’ 2015 draft class who didn’t make the active roster. Like Rotheram, he signed to the practice squad the day after final cuts.
The Packers already lost one practice-squad defensive lineman Bruce Gaston to Chicago earlier this season, so it makes sense why general manager Ted Thompson would pony up. Three of the team’s four natural defensive linemen – Mike Daniels, B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion – will be unrestricted free agents this offseason.
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