TAMPA — WR Dezmon Briscoe could not land a spot on the Bengals' or Bucs' active roster, but he is at the center of a dispute between the teams.
Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis blasted the decision by Bucs general manager Mark Dominik to pay Briscoe above the market value to sign with the team's practice squad on Sept. 5.
Briscoe, a sixth-round pick from Kansas by the Bengals, was released as part of their final cuts. They planned to re-sign Briscoe to their practice squad, but Dominik offered him $320,000, the minimum salary for rookies on an active roster. The standard for practice squad players is less than one-third that amount, and the minimum they must be paid is $83,200.
"When you overpay a guy on the practice squad, you create a problem for teams," Lewis said during a conference call Wednesday. "I don't know that teams want to set that precedent, and they did with Dez.
"That's not a great precedent for teams to set as we try to keep the NFL and do the things we're trying to do as a league. It's still a league of 32 teams, and things are put together a certain way."
Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Lewis should not be concerned with how the Bucs run their organization.
"It's a credit to our management and our ownership and what we want to do and how we want to go get them," he said. "That's really all that has to be said. I heard that comment, and that's Marvin's opinion. Good for Marvin.
"Marvin is entitled to run his program any way he wants to run it. That's between him and his management corps. Myself, my management corps and Mark Dominik, we'll choose how we want to run our management corps."
SHANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: One aspect of the 38-13 loss to the Steelers on Sept. 26 that flew under the radar was the poor performance of P Chris Bryan. He punted five times for 155 yards, a 31-yard average, and a net of only 29.4 yards per punt.
Overall, the former Australian rules football player averages 38.6 yards, which is 32nd in the NFL.
"Just a bad outing," Morris said. "I'm hoping just a bad outing. We've got to go out there and correct that this week. I called him after the game and asked him what happened to him. He gave me that (Australian) accent, and I really didn't know what was going on. So I told him I would talk to him Monday."
FIGHTING BACK: The emergence of young receivers coupled with a history of injuries has conspired to keep veteran Maurice Stovall out of the lineup. Stovall, who was inactive against the Steelers with a back injury, has returned to practice this week.
"He's just got to be a fighter," Morris said. "People have emerged. People have come on strong. If I know Mo, he'll work his way back into the rotation because he's a hard worker. The thing we know about Mo, he's going to go out there and do everything he can to be a factor; to be factored in. He had that early injury bug that hit him a little bit.
"People start to emerge. Arrelious (Benn) is getting better. Sammie (Stroughter) is getting better. Mike (Williams) is getting better. He had to play the catch-up game a little bit and re-aggravated (the injury). Mo will be Mo and try to fight his way back into the rotation."
INJURIES: LB Niko Koutouvides (ankle) and DE Kyle Moore (shoulder) had limited participation in practice on Wednesday. Stovall (back) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee) returned to practice and had full participation.
Rick Stroud can be reached at email@example.com.