While former Huskies like Kendall Reyes and Donald Brown had little to worry about as NFL teams pared rosters down to 53 players, there were plenty of one-time UConn stars uncertain of their professional fates. Unfortunately, RB Jordan Todman, WR Marcus Easley and WR Kashif Moore were all on the wrong side of the final 53 but there is good news: they were all signed to the practice squad by their respective teams.
Todman, the 2010 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, was drafted in the sixth round by the Chargers in 2011, released in October of that year and signed to their practice squad. The Vikings signed him in December and he went through training camp in Minnesota last month.
Easley has long been considered a big-play threat in Buffalo but injuries -- first a knee injury as a rookie than a heart ailment last year -- slowed his development. But the Bills kept just five wide receivers on the active roster, including Brad Smith, the former college quarterback who also doubles as a wildcat specialist. Which means that Easley could get a chance to prove himself in the near future.
Moore went undrafted in April but nearly half the league was interested in signing him as an undrafted free agent. He settled on Cincinnati but was released prior to the final preseason game after registering just one catch. He was quickly snatched up by the Colts, a young, WR-needy team, but Moore was released Friday. This time, though, he landed on the practice squad, where like Easley, he could get a chance to graduate to the final 53. The Colts are a young, inexperienced team and it's a situation where Moore could flourish.
For that to happen for Todman, Easley or Moore means performing well with the limited opportunities the practice squad provides. In case you're wondering: practice squad players make $5,700 a week during the season. By contrast, the minimum salary for a rookie on the 53-man roster is $390,000.