Ted Thompson is loyal to his draft picks. This is of course not news to anyone. However, this year, the Green Bay Packers' general manager cut sixth-round pick Christian Ringo at the end of training camp, marking the first time he had released a player drafted that highly since the 2011 season.
However, Thompson clearly still believes that Ringo, who has been signed to the Packers' practice squad since being released, has a future in the organization. A report from ESPN's Field Yates indicates that Ringo has been given a significant raise over his previous practice squad stipend:
Another practice squad player making active roster money: Packers DL Christian Ringo. Effective last week, he's earning $25,588/week.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 20, 2015
$25,888 per week over a 17-week season comes out to $435,000, which is not coincidentally the minimum salary for NFL rookies this year.
Realistically, there is one explanation for a team giving a practice squad player a raise like this: it is an attempt to convince the player to stay in the organization instead of signing a league-minimum deal to join another team's active roster. This way, Ringo can stay with the organization that showed faith in him on draft weekend and still earn the same amount of money that he would have received had he left.
This is hardly the first time that the Packers have done this with a practice squad player. In October of 2013, Scott Tolzien was given a significant raise from the practice squad minimum. This paid off almost immediately, as Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone during the next game, requiring Tolzien's promotion to the active roster.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, other players who in recent years have received active roster-equivalent salaries while staying on the Packers' practice squad include quarterback Graham Harrell, wide receivers Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel, and cornerback Brandian Ross.