NFL Practice Squad Rules: The Nitty Gritty

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

With NFL teams able to set their eight-man practice squad rosters tomorrow, here are the rules and regulations, along with a nifty Saints prediction contest!

Given that the New Orleans Saints and all NFL teams may begin signing players to their eight-man practice squad rosters beginning once eligible players clear waivers at noon Eastern time 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 get the full details in this here one place, as generously paraphrased from this SBNation story.

As the name indicates, players on the practice squad only practice with the team, without playing in the actual games, unless they are activated by the team for the game.

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 released player MUST clear waivers before being signed to a team's practice squad.

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 be signed to another team's active roster. 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 in 2013 is $6000, 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.

* * *

Who are you hoping the Saints will add to their Practice Squad for 2013?

Who do you predict will make the squad?

I will grade, compile, and post results of all predictions made here for celebration of prognosticative acumen. I urge you to make sure of a player's practice squad eligibility before you predict him to be on the Saints, lest you be subject to public ridicule.

More on the Saints 2013 Roster from CSC:

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