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NFL Practice Squads Officially Expand; Eligibility also Expands

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In addition, the criteria for Practice Squad eligibility has been expanded in two respects.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It's not ideal for players seeking the dream of playing in an NFL game, but the practice squad does keep that dream alive. Now, an extra 64 players across 32 teams that will have their NFL dreams kept alive every year.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to expand NFL Practice Squads for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Absent an extension of the agreement, the current rules will be reinstated beginning with the 2016 season.

Under the agreement, 2014 and 2015 Practice Squads will increase from the current maximum of eight players to 10 players.

In addition, the criteria for Practice Squad eligibility has been expanded in two respects.

First, a player must have a minimum of six games - up from the current three games - on a Practice Squad in order for that season to count as one of the player's three permissible seasons of Practice Squad service.

Second, each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two Practice Squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club's 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.

All other practice squad rules under Article 33 of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in effect during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

For the Bengals, this is good news for guys like Tyler Wilson, MAtt Scott, James Wilder Jr., TJ Johnson, Sam Montgomery, Victor Hampton, Nikita Whitlock and Cobi Hamilton among others.