Roster cuts are over. Waivers have been processed. Now it is time for NFL teams to start compiling their practice squads.
While the Green Bay Packers begin a normal week of practice today on a seven-day week before their season opener against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night, the personnel department will be hard at work as well. After 1:00 PM Eastern today, teams are allowed to begin signing players to practice squads, completing the initial roster-building process.
Each team can sign up to ten players to the squad, which will practice along with the 53-man roster and continue the young players’ development.
Most players on practice squads will be rookies or players with little to no NFL game experience. The general requirements for practice squad eligibility are as follows:
- Fewer than two accrued seasons of NFL experience (defined by six or more games on an active roster or injure reserve)
- No more than three seasons spent on a practice squad (a season is defined by six games or more on a squad within a single year)
Note that there is an exemption to the first criterion above: teams may now carry up to four players on the practice squad with two accrued seasons of experience, which is up from two such players in previous years.
Teams may sign players off of other teams’ practice squads to their own 53-man roster. This decision is entirely up to the player, who may accept or decline the offer. In addition, players will make a minimum of $8,000 per week on the practice squad, though teams are free to pay these players more than that. This often happens in the case of a player whom the team wants to retain and persuade to stay rather than signing with another team.
Here are the reported signings for the Packers so far to start 2019.