Although he made a strong impact during the four pre-season
games, former Cerritos College wide receiver Mike Willie was placed
on the practice squad when the San Diego Chargers trimmed their
roster to 53 players. Willie, an undrafted free agent out of
Arizona State University, averaged 22.5 yards per catch in four
games, as he pulled in four passes for 90 yards. He also caught a
38-yard touchdown pass in the game against Dallas. Looking to go
with more experience at the wide receiver position, the Chargers
decided to keep six players, all of which have previous NFL
A player is eligible for the practice squad if they have not accrued a season of free agent eligibility according to the NFL's rules. In essence, a player has to have not been on a team's 46-man active game-day roster for more than eight games in any accrued seasons, and cannot have been on a practice squad for more than two years. A player may be placed on a team's practice squad a third time, but only so long as that team maintains 53-players on their active/inactive roster. If the team should drop below 53-players, the third year practice squad player will automatically be elevated to the main roster.
|After playing his senior year with the Sun Devils,
Willie was on the Chargers radar during the NFL Draft and didn't
select any wide receivers. Because he made the practice squad,
Willie will earn the at least the NFL minimum of $5,700 a week
while on the practice squad. When he signed with San Diego, he
signed for three years, $1.2 million.
As a senior with the Sun Devils, Willie (6-2, 220) pulled in 36 passes for 455 yards and three touchdowns after posting 36 catches for 442 yards and six scores his junior year. In the 2011 season, Arizona State went 6-7 on the year and lost, 56-24 to Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Willie set a Cerritos receiving record with 760 yards in 2009, while his 76 career receptions are tied for the second most in school history. He also amassed 1,106 career receiving yards, which is third on the school's all-time list. As a freshman with the Falcons in 2008, Willie was part of a team that posted a 7-4 record and dropped a 38-33 game to Palomar College in the Golden Empire Bow, while they came back the next year to go 9-2, but saw their season end with a 31-17 loss to the same Comets in the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs. In his sophomore season, Willie was a 2nd Team all-conference selection.