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2016 NFL Practice Squad Rules: New Orleans Saints

The NFL and NFLPA have made a few changes in the practice squad rules for 2016. Let’s discuss below.

Sean Payton scoping out the talent.

The practice squad was extended to 10 players for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The NFL and NFLPA made another agreement and once again the practice squad for the 2016-17 season is expanded to 10 players. Several other changes were made with this new agreement.

Previously only 2 players with accrued seasons could be placed on the practice squad. This has now been extended to 4 players. An accrued season is any players on full pay for 6 games during the regular season. This includes players on Active/inactive, reserve injured, and reserve physically unable to perform lists. Also a player must be on a practice squad for 6 games as opposed to 3 games to have an accrued season. A player may be on the squad for a total of three years.

The basics:

[1] 10 players on each squad.

[2] While any player on the practice squad may be moved to the active roster, they only practice with the team and do not play in games.

[3] Any player moved to the active list will receive a minimum of three game checks even if they are released after 1 game.

[4] Practice squad players cannot be signed to another teams practice squad unless he has first been released by his current team. Any practice squad player may sign with another team while still on a practice squad but he must then be placed on the active roster. Bear in mind he will then receive 3 weeks pay even if released.

[5] A player may not play for an upcoming opponent when signed, unless he does so 6 days before the game or 10 days on a bye week.

[6] For a player to be placed to the practice squad he must clear waivers, this period will end at 12 PM central time today for the Saints, and he is subject to waiver claims by other teams during this period.

[7] Practice squad players are paid by the week and may be released at any time.

[8] Eligibility rules as given above.

So the practice squad doesn’t appear to have much security, but the pay isn’t bad.

A player on the squad makes a minimum of $6,900 per week. A team may of course pay a practice squad player any amount while on the practice squad, and many do if they value a player and don’t want to lose him to another team. The pay is still subject to the top 51 player cap rules.

So over a full season a player can make at least $117,300 on the squad. If he is moved to the active roster he’ll receive at least 3 game checks at the NFL minimum of $450,00, or at least $79,411.

So we’ll start to see players signed to the Saint practice squad starting at 12 PM CT today. Just because the Saints sign a player to the squad their future with the team is far from certain. The Saints may and do juggle around players often.