Life at the bottom of an NFL roster is one of limited job security. Your fate is determined – not by what you do – but by circumstances beyond your control.
Such is the case of Scooby Wright III.
Wright was the Browns seventh-round draft pick in 2016. The 14th player they chose during their three-day harvesting of rookie talent. You may remember Wright from the video recorded by ESPN on day three of the draft. He’s the guy who leapt over a fence and into the family pool to celebrate his entry into the NFL.
Wright was extremely happy to be a Cleveland Brown — imagine that.
Still recovering from an injury suffered during his final year at the University of Arizona, the rookie linebacker fought hard throughout training camp. He made a statement during the final preseason game, on 4th-and-goal he filled a hole in the defense just as the Bears running back found it. Wright stuffed him.
Some called it the defensive play of the pre-season.
Days later, when final cuts were announced, Wright wasn’t among them. He made the team.
For the first two regular season games, Wright was among the inactives. In the second game, the Browns suffered two key injuries. Not to the defense, where Wright might get his chance to step into the lineup, but to the offense. QB Josh McCown and Center Cameron Erving. To make space on the roster for their replacements, Wright was reluctantly waived.
The Browns hoped Wright would make it through waivers unclaimed so they could sign him to the practice squad. Wednesday, they did just that. Then they showed their appreciation in a way you don’t normally see from an NFL team — from the checkbook.
The minimum salary for an NFL practice squad player is $6,900 a week. Great money for us, but this is the NFL where careers can end on any given play.
Before being waived, Wright was making $26,470 a week.
He still is.
Might be worth another plunge in the pool.