On Monday, the Cleveland Browns signed the remaining members of their practice squad, OL Karim Barton, WR Kevin Cone, DL Calvin Barnett, DL Christian Tupou, DL Jacobbi McDaniel, LB Keith Pough, and DB Kendall James to reserve/future contracts.
What are "reserve/future" contracts? Anyone who was signed to an NFL active roster cannot enter free agency until March. Anyone who was on a practice squad though became free agents at the conclusion of the regular season. Therefore, the Browns basically "re-signed" the players they are interested in having another look at during the offseason programs or in training camp next season. In other words, it's really just a formality that has to be done to keep your practice squad in tact.
The Browns were allowed to have ten players on their practice squad in 2014, but only seven players were listed above. What happened to the other three? They were actually elevated to the 53-man roster right before the final game of the regular season -- QB Connor Shaw, WR Phil Bates, and DL Jamie Meder -- so no roster moves were necessary for them.
Of all the players mentioned, Barnett, McDaniel, and Shaw were the only players with the team most of the year, including training camp and the offseason programs. With changes expected on the defensive line in 2015, Barnett and McDaniel could get the opportunity to replace the likes of DL Ahtyba Rubin, who is a free agent.