Eligibility, pay, rules, changing teams and everything to know
NFL PRACTICE SQUAD
By Paul Assad Updated Sep 3, 2018, 11:30am PST / Reference Sources NFL.com / SB Nation
Even though more than 1,000 football players are be cut by their NFL clubs after week 3...there is still hope.
Teams have a 53 man Roster. And they have a Practice squad. It's less then then the active roster but they can’t play in live games either.
Here is everything you need to know about the NFL practice squad in 2018 including how it’s constructed, who is eligible and what happens once you’re on the squad.
10 Man Practice Squad
Before teams can build their 10-man practice squad, the final roster cuts to 53 players had to be completed by Saturday, September 1, 1:00 pm PST. Then Teams can begin signing players to their practice squads on Sunday, September 2, starting at 10:00 a.m. PST.
Most teams will have their practice squads completed and announced by Monday, September 3, which ironically is Labor Day. As soon as roster cuts are made, teams could begin negotiating with the agents of the guys they want on their practice squad, but nothing is final before Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (pst) / 1pm (ET).
Not all players are eligible for a Practice Squad
Experienced NFL players - Those that have played in the league for several years and/or played in a number of games that is. In 2016, the NFL adopted a modification to the practice squad rules that allowed up to four players per practice squad to have two accrued seasons, making it easier for teams to have experienced players on their practice squad. In the previous agreement, only two players with two accrued seasons were allowed to be on a practice squad.
Other than those four players, eligibility is limited to players who have been on an active roster for fewer than six games, or were on a 46-man active gameday roster for fewer than nine games.
Practice Squad Salary vs Active Roster Salary
Practice squad players earn paychecks on a weekly basis. They’re not getting the far bigger paychecks players on the 53-man roster receive. For the 2018 season, practice squad players can make no less than $7,600 per week, which equates to $129,200 for the season.
Can you make more then that on Practice Squad? Yes.
To protect players from leaving for other teams, or because they really like the potential of a given player, some teams pay their practice squad players more than the minimum. There is no limit to how much a team can pay a player on the practice squad and practice squad contracts do count against the salary cap. Interesting.
Can Players Change Teams / Yes ...However there's a possible No Cheating Clause?
A practice squad player can sign to another team’s active roster at any point, but can’t leave for another practice squad unless released from his current team. The only time practice squad players can’t be signed to an active roster is when a team’s next opponent is simply trying to get information from them by signing them prior to a matchup.
Practice squad players are prohibited from signing with the next opponent of their current team any less than five days before the game, or nine days during a bye week. If a practice squad player is signed to an active roster, they will receive a minimum of three weeks of paychecks, even if they’re released less than three weeks into their stay with that time.
Teams like the Bengals are using an international player and this means they get a special privilege this year to have an international player on their practice squad, as the NFL is allowing all four AFC North teams to carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads in 2018 as part of an expansion of the International Player Pathway program. In 2017, four NFC South teams carried international players on their practice squad, and they’ll do so again in 2018. So, there are now eight teams who can have 11 practice squad players.
If that assigned player makes the team after camp, he would count against the 53-man roster.
The player getting cut after camp would still go through waivers as usual.
If the teams then choose to re-sign the international player after clearing waivers he would officially become the 11th practice squad player.
Sources /NFL.com / SBNation CincyJungle.com /
Learn more about Paul Assad Specialist Camp NFL Development Program today.
Congratulations to Colby Wadman former UC Davis standout Punter in Coach Assad's NFL Development program signed with the Denver Broncos and has put on practice squad. We hope to see Colby activated he has worked so hard and become so accomplished.