NFL to expand practice squad to 10

The NFL and players' union agreed Tuesday to increase the size of practice squads from eight players to 10 for the next two seasons.

Increasing the size of practice squads will provide an extra 64 jobs to players this year and will help teams groom players in ways they otherwise cannot, given the absence of NFL Europe.

The idea was discussed among league executives and coaches at the owners meetings in March in Orlando, Florida, and it will be implemented before rosters are reduced to 75 players, then 53 players, by the end of this month, a source said.

Also, criteria for practice squad eligibility has been expanded in two categories.

A player must have a minimum of six games on a practice squad -- increased from the previous three games -- for that year to count as one of three permissible seasons on the squad.

And each team now can sign a maximum of two practice squad players who have earned no more than two NFL seasons toward free agency. Aside from that exception, a player with one or more accrued seasons can't go on a practice squad unless he spent fewer than nine games on a club's 46-player active list in each of his pro seasons.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.