Tyler Wilson's career with the Oakland Raiders isn't over just yet.
One day after Oakland cut its 2013 fourth-round draft pick to pare its roster down to the maximum 53 players, the team's official Twitter feed announced Wilson has been added to the practice squad:
The Raiders have added QB Tyler Wilson to the practice squad.— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 2, 2013
NFL teams can carry up to an additional eight players on their practice squad during the regular season. These players are not counted toward the 53-man total, but they are allowed to participate in practice as a normal player would.
Sports Illustrated's Andrew Brandt has a little sneak peek at what this all means for Wilson financially:
Raiders sign Tyler Wilson to practice squad. At $6,000/week, would make $102,000 for season. Made $451,000 bonus a month ago.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) September 2, 2013
Wilson wasn't added to the Raiders' practice squad until late Monday because he had to clear waivers. Most expected the former Arkansas standout to be one of Oakland's eight designated players, but as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk reported, the team was unable to confirm Wilson when it made its initial practice squad announcement.
Though Wilson is still tied to the Raiders organization, he is still free to sign with another team provided that team places him on the active roster for at least three subsequent weeks.
Wilson's release Sunday came as a mild surprise to many. The Raiders decided to keep four quarterbacks on their initial 53-man pare-down for Saturday's 6 p.m. ET deadline, but chose to release Wilson a day later.
He was battling with former Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin for Oakland's third-string job.
During the preseason it became quickly apparent that Wilson had fallen behind. He was afforded only 18 preseason pass attempts, completing 11 for 93 yards. Head coach Dennis Allen was open with the media about Wilson's struggles to grasp the mental side of NFL football, telling Vic Tafur of The San Francisco Chronicle that he was "behind:"
Allen said rookie QB Tyler Wilson “has all the physical tools but is behind from a mental standpoint.”— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 4, 2013
The coaching staff did give Wilson an extended look in the preseason finale, where he completed eight of 12 passes for 65 yards, but it proved of little help.
McGloin, an undrafted free agent, led all Oakland quarterbacks in attempts with 35. He was also listed as the third-string quarterback for almost the entirety of camp. He also had the advantage of playing in Bill O'Brien's pro-style offense his senior season in Happy Valley.
Despite all signs pointing to McGloin being chosen, Wilson clearing waivers and landing back with Oakland is a pretty big surprise. Heading into this April's draft, there were plenty of people who had Wilson pegged among the draft's possible sleepers.
Is Tyler Wilson not being claimed off waivers a bump in the road or an indication of where his career is headed?
While he had a disappointing senior season at Arkansas, he was one year removed from being a first-team All-SEC selection and being pegged as a potential early-round pick. Standing 6'3" with a wide frame, Wilson had all the physical tools associated with a prototypical quarterback.
Allen is yet to choose a starting quarterback for Week 1. He'll be choosing between Pryor and Flynn, but likely won't tell the public until Sunday, according to Bill Williamson of ESPN.com.
Once heading into camp as a potential replacement for both players, Wilson will now have to work even harder and quicker to prove he belongs on an active roster—Oakland's or elsewhere.
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