This weekend the Oakland Raiders held an audition of sorts for 60 players all of which have never played an NFL down. Officially it’s recognized as a rookie mini-camp. The reality is that it’s the last chance saloon for more than 90% of the men invited.
The next time there is an NFL work stoppage and the usual bemoaning of how many millions are being made by the players, keep this past weekend in mind. Most guys would feel like they hit the lottery by making the practice squad and earning the $5,000 a week that comes with it.
Of the 60 rookies the Raiders put through non-contact drills over the weekend six were drafted by the franchise. Another 13 were signed as undrafted free agents, 11 more that were members of the practice squad last season and an additional 30 who were invited for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Of the six players the Raiders drafted perhaps four or five will make the active 53-man roster coming out of camp. The 13 UFAs and 11 former practice squad players will naturally be battling for the longshot at making the 53-man but are likely all in the same scrap for one of the 8 spots allowed for the practice squad.
Which leaves the other 30 invitees almost no chance of making the Raiders roster.
We all know how tough a road it is to the NFL. Just getting a scholarship to a D1 program is tough enough never mind collecting an NFL paycheck. But considering 60 men were Raiders for all of 72 hours and may never see an NFL uniform again it puts in perspective just how long the odds truly are.