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2016 Practice Squad Rule Changes

A few things have changed. Here’s an article to keep you in the loop.

NFL: Preseason-San Francisco 49ers at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Quietly this offseason, the NFL and the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) agreed once more to keep the 10 player practice squad, as was agreed on in 2014, but only was in effect for the last two years, so it needed to be renewed. A few other rule changes have been applied as well.

Practice squads can now have four players per team who have accrued 2 seasons. Two accrued seasons means that the player was on the team’s 53 man roster (full pay status) for six or more games, or could have been inactive, injured, or on the PUP list. Because of this, for those four players, anyone drafted or who has come into the league in the last two years is eligible to be on the practice squad, no matter the amount of games they have participated in.

That means, if they really wanted to, they could stick Ryan Carrethers, who is buried on the DC, or any player of the last two draft classes on the PS to open up a spot. This new might come into play once Damion Square returns from suspension but obviously remains to be seen. This can be seen as a good thing because teams will be able to keep older, more experienced players on their practice squads while they prepare. I’ve always been one to prefer that teams take a couple years to groom their players before throwing them into the fire.

Unchanged rules

  • 10 Players per practice squad
  • Not everyone is eligible to be a Practice Squad Player
  • Paid a minimum of $6,900 a week, totaling $117,300 a year
  • Paid weekly, but can be released at any time
  • Practice squad players do not play in games, only practice
  • Other NFL teams can sign any practice squad player to their 53 man roster, at which point they would be making at least $450,000. Three weeks would be guaranteed, so even if they are separated from the team in any way, they are still guaranteed $79,411 for those three weeks.
  • Upcoming rivals cannot sign their opponents PS players within six days of the game, or 10 days if the team is on a bye week.
  • If a player is released, they must first clear waivers before being signed to the PS. The Chargers claimed Mettenberger off of waivers, he might have been a PS candidate for Tennessee.