NFL Practice Squad Rules – Learn who is eligible

NFL Practice Squad Rules

  • Each team is permitted to have 10 players signed to the practice squad.
  • They do not dress or play in games unless added to the active roster. They simply practice.
  • They are paid weekly.
  • They can be released at any point in time.
  • They can be signed by any other NFL team, but have to be placed on that team’s active 53-man roster (receiving 3 guaranteed weekly game checks).
  • He cannot be signed to another team’s practice squad unless he is released by the initial team.
  • He cannot sign with a team’s next opponent unless it is done prior to 6 days before the game or 10 days if his team is currently on their bye week.
  • If moved/signed to the active roster he will receive three weekly pay checks even if he is cut prior to those three weeks.
  • If released, the player has to clear waivers before signing with a new team, or the practice squad of a new team.


Per the CBA Article 33
(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:

Players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and

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. ( a bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)


  • For 2018, the minimum a player will make is no less than $7,600 per week, which equates to $129,200 for the season if he is on the squad for each of the 17 weeks of the season.
  • If a practice squad player is signed or activated to the active roster, he is guaranteed three weekly pay checks at $27,352.94, which is a total of $82,058.82.
  • There are no limits on how much a team can pay a member of the practice squad, and some teams pay better than others to try to retain the players.

International Practice Squad Player

The AFC North teams and the NFC South (again) have an 11 players, one international player on their practice squad, as part of an expansion of the International Player Pathway program.

  • The NFL assigned the player
  • The teams asked for a few players
  • He counts against the 53-man roster if he was signed to the roster
  • Any player who got cut after camp still must go through waiver wire