It's official: the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to expand practice squad limits from 8 players to 10. The possibility of this change was first reported on Monday night. This agreement will only apply to the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons unless a further extension is agreed upon.
This is good news. It means that 64 new jobs have just been created. This expansion means more room for developmental players.
The NFL also announced changes to practice squad eligibility. The two additional spots have different rules than the other original eight spots. See below:
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.
(Article 33: The Practice Squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Ac-crued Season(s). An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.)
Ben Volin put these changes for the two new spots into practical terms.
Until now, a player lost practice squad eligibility if he played in 9 games in a single season. Now, he can play in all 32 games in his first 2 seasons and still retain practice squad eligibility.
Eligible for the 2014 10 man practice squad
All drafted and undrafted rookies
Eligible for the two 2-year veteran practice squad spots
Excludes those who are highly unlikely to be cut, such as Fletcher Cox or Nick Foles. Note that those denoted by a * become ineligible for the practice squad after their their 6th game on an NFL roster in 2014.
Not eligible for the PS in 2014
All players on this list are not eligible because they have dressed for too many NFL regular season games in a prior season and have accrued more than 2 years towards free agency.
NFL teams can begin signing players to their practice squad starting August 31st. That's one day after teams are required to trim their active roster to 53 players.