A review of practice squad rules

With teams required to get their rosters down to 53 players by 6 p.m. Saturday, I thought it would be a good idea to review practice squad eligibility.

Article XXXIV of the collective bargaining agreement outlines the rules. Teams are allowed to have eight practice squad players. A team cannot simply assign a fringe player to the practice squad. He must first be waived and go unclaimed by another club. The player then would become a free agent, not bound to sign a practice squad deal.

Players must meet one of the following criteria while previously not being on a practice squad more than two seasons:

  • No accrued seasons of NFL experience.

  • Free agents who were on an active roster for fewer than nine regular-season games during their accrued seasons.

A season on the practice squad constitutes three weeks. There are provisions for a third season on a practice squad.

A practice squad player remains free to sign with any other club (how the Buffalo Bills pried Brian Brohm from the Green Bay Packers) but must remain on his new team's 53-man roster unless cut.

Players make a minimum of $5,200 a week on the practice squad, but any terms can be negotiated.