The NFL practice squad currently sits at a limit of just eight players. Once each teams cuts it's roster down to 53 players, those who were cut with remaining eligibility can sign with a team's practice squad, assuming another team doesn't claim them off waivers.
It's not ideal for players seeking the dream of playing in an NFL game, but it does keep that dream alive.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the number o players that can be on a practice squad will be expanding this year.
By next week, NFL is expected to increase size of practice squads to 10 players from 8, per source. So 64 more jobs.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 18, 2014
If that's the case, that's an extra 64 players across 32 teams that will have their NFL dreams kept alive every year.
Practice squads are considered to be for developmental purposes. Therefore, veterans are not eligible to be signed to the practice squad. In fact, players with more than one year of accrued NFL service are not eligible. Here is a closer look at the eligibility requirements.
- A player is eligible if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience. Players gain an accrued season by being on the active roster for at least six games.
- If a player has one accrued season, they can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 45-man active gameday roster for less than nine regular season games.
- A player is deemed to have served a season on the practice squad if he remains on the practice squad for at least three weeks. Players are eligible to be on the practice squad for two seasons.
- Players can be eligible for a third practice squad season if their team maintains no less than 53 players on the active/inactive list at all times.