Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that wide receiver Tori Gurley decided to remain on the Green Bay Packers practice squad instead of signing to the 53-man roster on the Minnesota Vikings. Many people dream of being on a NFL team (which practice squad players technically aren’t as they are unrestricted free agents), and Gurley just might be giving up his only chance to be a real NFL player. From a Packers fan standpoint, most were quick to laugh as the Vikings, who are notorious for stealing players from NFC North rivals such as Ryan Longwell, Darren Sharper, Bernard Berrian and Devin Aromashshodu, couldn’t even get a practice squad player playing wide receiver on the NFL’s deepest and most talent wide receiving corps to sign with them.
But I have to admit; it’s a pretty smart move by Gurley, who is essentially betting on the winning team. From an economic standpoint, Gurley is probably going to make more money as Packers practice squad member than as a Minnesota Viking.
Signing with the Vikings: the minimum salary for a player with no vested years (such as a rookie like Gurley) is $375,000 and realistically Gurley would have gotten the cookie cutter rookie pick-up 3-year contract from the Vikings. Pro-rated for the three remaining games of the regular season means that aside from signing bonus money (which would likely be negligible for a late season rookie pick-up if there is one at all) would equate to $70,311. Keep in mind the Vikings are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, so $70,311 is all Gurley can make on the Vikings this year. Also keep in mind while it is technically a 3-year contract, most likely none of the money is guaranteed, so there’s a very good chance that Gurley could be cut next year and see no more money from the Vikings.
Staying with the Packers: the minimum salary for a player on the practice squad is $83,000, which equates to $5,200 a week. Just to the end of the regular season Gurley stands to make $15,600, which is a difference of $54,711. But, the Packers are already locked into the playoffs and while Gurley will not be receiving a paycheck for the first week of the playoffs (as the Packers have clinched a playoff bye), Gurley should make more money:
If the Packers win the divisional game: $36,600 total