NFL Practice Squad Rules

I didn't see this on Stampede Blue and was curious, so I found this on the St. Louis Turf Show SBNation site. Don't know if this is in bad taste or not to copy straight but here it is. I was especially interested in what protects the Colts from having their practice squad players poached by other teams. It is in bold below, and if they bring them into their 53 man roster, I think they will have to pay the minimum salary for their position. They had better be sold on the player or be desperately short at the position.

All non-vested players who get cut, those with less than four years of service, have to pass through waivers. Teams have until Midnight on Sunday, Sep. 1 to make a claim for players. Any players unclaimed at that point will be free agents. The waiver claim order is based on the draft. The Colts had the 24th spot.

Here are the eligibility requirements for practice squad players:

  • Have no prior Accrued Seasons in the NFL (An accrued season is six or more games on the active roster);
  • Have one prior Accrued Season in which the player was on the 45-man active roster for no more than 8 games;
  • If served two seasons on a practice squad, are eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player's employment.

A player is considered to have served on a practice squad if he spent three games in the regular season or postseason games during his first two practice squad seasons, or for one regular season or postseason games in his third season.

Players on the practice squad make a minimum of $6,000 per week. There is no limit to what teams can pay a player on the practice squad, so some will up the weekly number to entice a guy to stick around.

Practice squad players can be signed away by another NFL team at any point in the season. However, those teams have to add that player to the 53-man roster. If a practice squad player is released, then another team can sign him directly to the practice squad. Teams cannot sign a player from their upcoming opponent's team six days prior to that game or 10 days if the team is on a bye.

Teams can promote players from the practice squad. When that happens, a team has to keep a player on the active roster for three weeks, and they earn the minimum salary for their position. Players can be released before their three weeks are up, but they get paid for three weeks no matter what.

There is one exception to this called the Contagious Disease Addendum, which was first added in June 2010 in a side letter agreement to the last CBA. This states that if a player is promoted from the practice squad for a game because a club was given a roster exemption due to confirmed or suspected cases of contagious disease among its players, the player remains on his practice squad contract, but will be paid 1/17 of the league minimum salary. After the game he will be returned to the practice squad without having to clear waivers.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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