NFL Practice Squad Rules
By Kevin Nogle, SB Nation
Aug. 30, 2013
By tomorrow evening, all 32 NFL teams will have to cut their rosters from 75 players down to 53. After that, all of them will begin putting together there practice squads, a group of eight players who spend the year scouting opponents, as well as developing in hopes of making the roster in 2014. Of course, there are some eligibility rules for who can and who cannot be on the practice squad.
NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement to read the exact rules.
Section 1. Practice Squads:
• (a) The League may elect in any League Year in accordance with this Article to establish Practice Squads not to exceed eight (8) players per Club. The League's election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season.
• (b) The League may elect to allow some or all Clubs to add to their Practice Squads one additional player, who shall not count against the limit above, whose citizenship and principal place of residence are outside the United States and its Territories ("International Player"). The League's election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season. Such International Players shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment that apply to other Practice Squad players except that they (1) may not, during the term of their Practice Squad Contract, negotiate or sign an NFL Player Contract with any Club; and (2) may not practice with any Club following the last Conference Championship Game unless both Conference Champion-ship teams have such a player. In addition, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 below, such International Player shall be eligible to serve on a Practice Squad for three additional seasons after the completion of the player's year(s) as an International Player. As set forth in Section 3 below, the weekly salary for such International Players shall not be included in the employing Club's Team Salary and shall instead be deducted from the calculation of the Salary Cap in the same manner as any Player Benefit Cost.
• (c) The Practice Squad Player Contract form attached hereto as Appendix J will be used for all Practice Squad player signings. This form cannot be amended without the approval of the Management Council and the NFLPA. Notwithstanding the fore-going, changes may be agreed to between a Club and a Practice Squad player consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.
Section 2. Signing With Other Clubs:
• (a) Any player under contract to a Club as a Practice Squad player shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any Club at any time during the League Year, to serve as a player on any Club's Active or Inactive List, and any Club is completely free to negotiate and sign such a Player Contract with such player, without penalty or restriction, including, but not limited to, Draft Choice Compensation between Clubs or First Refusal Rights of any kind, or any signing period, except that such player shall not be permitted to sign a Player Contract with another Club to serve as a Practice Squad player while under contract as a Practice Squad player.
• (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a) above, a Practice Squad player may not sign an NFL Player Contract with his Club's next opponent later than 4:00pm, New York time, on the sixth day preceding the game (except in bye weeks, when the prohibition commences on the tenth day preceding the game). When the current employer club has a bye the weekend before the game against the Club signing the Practice Squad player to an NFL Player Contract, such contract must be executed prior to 4:00pm, New York time, on the 10th day preceding the game.
Section 3. Salary:
Minimum salary for a Practice Squad player shall be the following per week, including postseason weeks in which his Club is in the playoffs:
2011 - $5,700
2012 - $5,700
2013 - $6,000
2014 - $6,300
2015 - $6,600
2016 - $6,900
2017 - $7,200
2018 - $7,600
2019 - $8,000
2020 - $8,400
Section 4. Eligibility:
• (a) The Practice Squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Accrued Season(s). An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.
• (b) A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club's physical and been a member of the club's Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third Practice Squad season. (For purposes of this Section, a bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)
Section 5. Active List:
If a player on the Practice Squad of one club (Club A) signs an NFL Player Contract with another club (Club B), (1) the player shall receive three weeks salary of his NFL Player Contract at the 53-player Active/Inactive List minimum even if he is terminated by Club B prior to earning that amount, and (2) Club B is required to count the player on its 53-player Active/Inactive List for three games (a bye week counts as a game) even if he is terminated, traded, or assigned via waivers to another club or is signed as a free agent to another club's 53-player roster or another club's Practice Squad prior to that time. If the player is terminated from Club B's 53-player roster and signed to Club B's Practice Squad, he shall continue to count on the club's 53-player
Active/Inactive List but shall not count against the eight-player Practice Squad limit until the three-game requirement has been fulfilled. If a player is terminated prior to the completion of the three-game period and is signed to Club B's Practice Squad or is signed or assigned to another Club's 53-player roster or Practice Squad, any Salary (as that term is defined in Article 13, Section 4 that he receives from any NFL club applicable to the three-game period shall be an offset against the three weeks' Salary that he is entitled to receive from Club B. If the promotion occurs with fewer than three games remaining in the Club's regular season, the three game requirement for roster count shall not carry over into the next season.