NMU football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign former Wildcat Jace Daniels to practice squad
MARQUETTE – Former Northern Michigan University offensive lineman Jace Daniels of Escanaba was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, but re-signed as a member of the organization’s practice squad on Sunday.
Daniels said he is blessed to continue his career in the NFL.
“I’m so happy for this opportunity,” Daniels said by phone from Tampa, Fla., on Sunday. “I just want to continue to keep getting better every day.
“If somebody happens to get injured or whatnot, I can step up if need be. Otherwise, I have a whole year of training with these guys and next year I’ll be ready to go for camp.”
Throughout the offseason and training camp, Daniels worked as a center and at both right and left guard. He was a tackle at NMU and hadn’t began work as a center until the months leading up to the NFL Draft.
Daniels said he’s a lot more confident playing center now than when he started. He said he expects to continue to get better as he trains and practices with the Bucs throughout the regular season.
“I thought I knew a lot about football until I got here,” Daniels said. “Just after training camp with the Bucs, I’ve learned more football than I ever thought from an O-line standpoint to situational football.
“Now I know everything from a two-minute drill to reading defenses.”
Daniels was invited to Bucs’ rookie camp this summer and signed to the 90-man offseason roster as an undrafted free agent. He was with the Bucs throughout training camp, surviving the initial roster cutdown to 75. He appeared in all four preseason games, but was let go Saturday evening when the NFL required all 32 teams to get rosters down to 53 players.
Teams were allowed to sign up to eight eligible free agents to their practice squad at noon Sunday. Eligible players include free agents who have not accrued a season of free agency or those who were active for less than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season. A player earns a year of free-agency credit by being active for at least six games.
Players cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons. Practice squad players don’t travel with the team and are not on the sidelines on game day, though Daniels said he will have a suite with other players to watch home games during the season.