When can NFL teams sign practice squad players?

Buffalo Bills v Carolina Panthers
A timeline for when NFL teams can sign practice squad players

NFL teams are finalizing their rosters and filling out their practice squads before the final week ahead of the 2022 season beginning.

A team by team breakdown of all the practice squad action today on…

While these players will mostly find themselves lining up for special teams packages, there's a precedent for them to break out and become impact contributors. Players such as James Harrison, Adrian Phillips, Jason Peters, Danny Amendola, Danny Woodhead, Arian Foster, and Kyle Cook all started out on someone's practice team.


When can NFL teams sign practice squad players?

The deadline for when every team must have their roster down to 53 players was Tuesday.

Today (Wednesday the 31st) was the deadline for when teams must have their waiver claims in for players waived when the roster's number of active players goes from 80 to 53. It's also when teams can start placing players on their 53-man roster on IR with eligibility to return after four games at a minimum. Any player placed on IR before September begins won't be eligible for the entire season.

Who is eligible?

All NFL free agents are eligible to sign to a team’s practice squad, but there are limits on certain kinds of players based on how many seasons the said player has accrued.

NFL practice squad tracker: Keep track of each team's roster signings after cutdown…

Only six players with more than two years of experience are allowed on a given practice squad. Players with less than two years but more than nine games of experience are capped at 10. 16 players are allowed if they have nine or fewer games under their belt.

Overall, teams are allowed 16 players under contract that aren't included in the final 53-man roster. There were supposed to be 14 players at this point, but the COVID-19 pandemic increased that number to 16 and it has yet to be amended.

How much do NFL practice squad players get paid?

Players with two or fewer NFL seasons under their belt are eligible to earn at least $11,500 per week. This adds up to $207,000 over 18 weeks (or a full season) spent on the practice team.

Players are considered to have completed a full season when they are on full-time pay status for at least six regular-season games.


While making the practice team isn't the dream of any NFL prospect, it's far from a bad gig based on the pay-scale.

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Edited by James Meyers
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