It isn’t quite as simple as that. Being a practise squad player has different levels. On the practise squad of their team, players with less than two seasons will earn $9,200 a week. On the other hand, NFL practise squad players with more than two seasons of experience will earn $14,000 each week.
That isn’t a small sum. Many people assume, however, that NFL players earn significantly more than the average person. Practice squad pay will increase to $11,500 and $15,400, respectively, for the next season. There’s more, though!
Players with more than two seasons of service experience on the NFL practise squad can earn up to $19,900 per week starting in 2022. If a player on the practise squad is promoted to the active roster, he or she will be paid a prorated portion of the league minimum pay for that game.
Players who have not yet completed their seasons will be paid $36,000 for the game in which they are summoned. A player earns $43,000 in one season and $47,000 in two.
An NFL practise squad can only have so many players.
NFL teams will be permitted to carry 16 players on their practise squads for the second year in a row in 2021. Practice squads were previously limited to a maximum of ten players. The league had originally planned to expand the practise squad to 12 players in 2020 (with a second expansion to 14 players in 2022), but the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to boost the allocation.
The 16-player practise squad gave teams roster flexibility and allowed them to keep more players in the system. As a result of the importance of this during the COVID-affected campaign, the league decided to keep practise squad sizes at 16 in 2021.
How do NFL practise squads operate?
The following are some of the most important practise squad regulations to know:
A practise squad can contain no more than six players who have played in more than two seasons.
Teams are allowed to sign four practise players every week. Throughout the season, a player can be shielded an unlimited number of times. On Tuesdays after 4 p.m. ET, these safeguards can be set up.
Only by signing to the active roster can a practise squad player be picked up by another team. A team cannot add a player from another team’s practise squad to their own. A practise squad member cannot sign with their team’s next opponent until at least six days before the game (ten days if the game is during a bye week).
Teams can promote two practise squad players each week without having to make room on the active roster, granting them access to the 54th and 55th roster spots, respectively. This transaction must be completed by 4 p.m. ET on the day of the game. Following the game, these promoted players revert to the practise squad, bypassing waivers. This procedure can be used twice per season to elevate a player to the active roster. A team must sign a player to their roster in order to call him up for the third time.
If a team receives a late positive COVID-19 case, they have 90 minutes before kickoff to elevate another practise squad player.
Who are some of the notable stars now on practise squads?
Start with the Ravens, who have two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell ($45 million in lifetime earnings), linebacker Josh Bynes (10 years in the NFL), safety Anthony Levine Sr. (131 games with Baltimore since 2012), and offensive tackle Andre Smith (former first-round pick).
Wide receivers Travis Benjamin (49ers), Phillip Dorsett II (Jaguars), and David Moore (Raiders), quarterback Nick Mullens (Browns), kicker Nick Folk (Patriots), safeties Karl Joseph (Steelers) and Sean Davis (Bengals), corner Nickeley Robey-Coleman (Lions), running back Jordan Howard (Eagles), defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (Browns), and (Bills).
The Bills added Hart, who signed a one-year agreement with Buffalo in April and received a $137,500 signing bonus. He was released by Buffalo in August, but he was re-signed to their practise squad this week.