One of the dangers of having a player on the practice squad is the possibility of losing him to another team. The obvious positive about having a player on the practice squad is that you can continue to develop him and activate him to the main roster if an injury or something else happens. The obvious negative is that every other NFL team can try to sign him to their active roster. That doesn't happen too often, but it did today, and the Lions were on the negative side of it.
The Dolphins signed offensive tackle Lydon Murtha to their 53-man roster from the Lions' practice squad. Murtha was a seventh-round pick and was one of only two draft picks not already on Detroit's active roster. He, Dan Gronkowski, and Zack Follett all started the season on the practice squad, and Follett was recently activated and essentially called up to the active roster. While Murtha probably wasn't going to be brought up to the active roster in the immediate future, he was developing on the practice squad. He has great athleticism and raw talent, and it was obvious from the time he was drafted that his development would take some time. Obviously the Dolphins feel that he has come far enough to warrant a spot on their active roster, and now the Lions won't get a chance to continue to watch him develop.
Losing a player like this is sort of a kick between the legs. Obviously Murtha isn't going to pass up the chance to be signed to an active roster, but at the same time, you almost want to boot someone and offer him a deal just to hang on to him. The Lions didn't think he was going to get into the offensive line rotation in the immediate future considering he was still on the practice squad, but even so, I'm sure they would have liked to hold on to all of their draft picks.