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NFL Practice Squad: Salary, rules, player eligibility for the 49ers

We break down the rules surrounding the 49ers potential practice squad. We also look at who is eligible.

Jason O. Watson

The San Francisco 49ers are in the process of finalizing their roster cuts, at which point 4+ year veterans will hit the open market, and all other players will go through waivers. Waivers runs Sunday morning, and after that, teams will begin signing players to their practice squad. We are still waiting on 49ers roster cuts, but in the meantime, I thought I would provide a full rundown of practice squad rules. I'll pin this at the top of the page as we get through roster cuts.

How many players on the practice squad?

10 - It was previously 8, but this year the NFL changed it to 10 for the next two seasons. They will need to reach a subsequent agreement to keep these new rules in place.

How is a player eligible for the practice squad?

In order to be eligible for the practice squad, players must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have no prior Accrued Seasons in the NFL (An accrued season is six or more games on the active roster);
  • Have one prior Accrued Season in which the player was on the 45-man active roster for no more than 8 games;
  • NEW RULE: Each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of 2 Practice Squad players who have earned no more than 2 accrued seasons of free agency credit;
  • If served two seasons on a practice squad, are eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player's employment.
  • A player has served one season on the practice squad if he is on the practice squad for at least 6 games. The rule previously required 3 games on the practice squad roster.

What 49ers players are eligible for the practice squad?

I have started removing players that made the 53-man roster. I'm still waiting for final word on some.

RB Glenn Winston

WR Lance Lewis
WR L'Damian Washington

TE Asante Cleveland

OT Carter Bykowski
G Al Netter
OL Michael Philipp
OL Ryan Seymour

DL Lawrence Okoye
NT Mike Purcell

ILB Shayne Skov
OLB Chase Thomas

CB Darryl Morris

LS Kevin McDermott


Players on the practice squad can earn a minimum of $6,300 per week in 2014. Teams are allowed to pay a player a higher salary than the minimum, and this often happens if another team comes sniffing around a player. All practice squad salaries are counted under the team's salary cap.

Player rights

While on a practice squad, a player is paid by that particular team. However, the player has the right to sign with another team's 53-man roster. The one exception to this is that the player may not sign a contract with his team's next opponent after 1 p.m. PT six days preceding the game (10 days preceding in bye weeks). A player cannot sign a practice squad contract with one team and then leave to sign a practice squad contract with another team, unless the first team has released said player.


If a player signs with another team's 53-man roster, or is promoted to his own team's 53-man roster, the player must be paid for at least 3 weeks of at least league minimum salary. They can be released before the 3 weeks is up, but they still have to be paid.

There is one exception to this called the Contagious Disease Addendum, which was first added in June 2010 in a side letter agreement to the last CBA. This states that if a player is promoted from the practice squad for a game because a club was given a roster exemption due to confirmed or suspected cases of contagious disease among its players, the player remains on his practice squad contract, but will be paid 1/17 of the league minimum salary. After the game he will be returned to the practice squad without having to clear waivers.