NFL Practice Squad Player Eligibility, Rules, and Salary

Will S Jerico Nelson find a spot on the Saints Practice Squad later today? Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Given that teams may begin signing players to their eight-man practice squad rosters beginning once eligible players clear waivers at noon EDT today, it seems a good time to review the player eligibility, rules, and salary aspects of this process.


We have been fortunate enough to have various learned members of CSC provide parts of this information in different threads over time, and now you can make the jump for the full details, as generously paraphrasled from this secondary source from a 2011 SBNation story.

In order to be considered practice squad eligible, a player must not have a single accrued season in the NFL or must have been on a team's active list (aka 53-man roster) for less than nine games during any "accrued seasons" he has earned.

A player may be on a practice squad for only two years, but may be eligible for a third season if the team has at least 53 players on their active/inactive list for the duration of that player's tenure with the team.

A practice squad season is accrued by a player when he is on a team's practice squad for three regular or postseason games in the first two practice squad seasons, or one regular or postseason game during the third practice squad season.

At any time, a practice squad player is allowed to sign with another team's practice squad. The only restriction is that he may not sign a contract with the next opponent of his current team after 4:00 pm EDT six days before the game (10 days during a bye week).

The minimum weekly salary for practice squad players is $5700, although teams do have the option to pay more than this amount.

Another salary nuance is that if a player is signed off one team's practice squad to another team's 53-man roster, that player will receive at least three weeks salary of his contract at the 53-man roster minimum salary level, even if he ends up being terminated before that time.

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And now you know the ins and outs of the NFL practice squad program. Who would you like to see on the New Orleans Saints practice squad this year?

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