NFL Practice Squad: Salary, rules, eligibility, 49ers roster cuts, and more for 2017

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers made their roster cuts all finalized on Saturday, getting down to the 53-man roster limit. They now send a host of players to waivers, and then potentially the open market. Players with at least four years of service time are immediately free agents, while players with less than four years of accrued service time go through waivers.

Waivers will run Sunday morning, and after that, teams will begin signing players to their practice squad. Now that the preliminary 53-man roster is set, I thought I would provide a full rundown of practice squad rules. This will also include a list of practice squad eligible players the team released as part of roster cuts.

How many players on the practice squad?

10 - It was previously 8, but in 2014, the NFL changed it to 10 for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. They have extended the rule.

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:

What 49ers players are eligible for the practice squad?

This is a list of players the 49ers cut on Saturday. They will likely sign one or more players to the practice squad from other teams cuts, but for now, here’s what we’ve got.


QB Nick Mullens
FB Tyler McCloskey
WR Tim Patrick
TE Cole Hikutini
OL John Flynn
OL Andrew Lauderdale
OL Darrell Williams Jr.
DL Noble Nwachkwu
LB Austin Calitro
K Nick Rose

1st year

OL Norman Price
WR DeAndre Carter
WR DeAndre Smelter

2nd year

RB Kapri Bibbs
TE Blake Bell

3rd year

LB Shayne Skov


Players on the practice squad can earn a minimum of $7,200 per week in 2016. 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.


Contagious Disease Exemption?

That’s a bit weird. What are they worried about, syphilis?

Staph Infection I believe.

yep MRSA or staphs are the biggest


Makes a lot of sense.

cleveland was handing out staph and Mrsa's

to every player that had a procedure


I could see us signing...

QB Nick Mullens
FB Tyler McCloskey
TE Cole Hikutini
OL John Flynn
OL Darrell Williams Jr.
LB Austin Calitro

Maybe WR Tim Patrick?

And the remainder from other teams.

Agreed, but probably smelter if he doesn't get picked up elsewhere

We could still use a 3 Tech (to back Buck and fill Blair's spot), starter quality IOL (bench Beadles), and a CB (swap out Reaser).

Im guessing

Hikutini is a lock since we signed him as a prioirty udfa and then pretty much kept him hidden during the pre-season.

Mullens will probably be the 3rd qb unless we find someone else better but that isnt likely. Of course 3rd qb isnt too meaningful since its unlikely we wont sign someone else if Hoyer gets hurt.

Flynn is an interesting case… all depends in other OL out there. I wasnt really impressed but we probably need 2, maybe 3 OL on the squad.

Probably some CB from somewhere… doubt its from our cut list tho. FB as well but hard to predict given a lot of teams dont use FB, there should be a lot of talent around. Bell might get a chance since he got an extended look on Thursday. Maybe a MLB as well since Cole really is just for special teams.


Derek Carrier to Rams!


Aaron Donald?

Mike Davis cut by Seachickens

That should be enough to call it a career for him

If you can call what he did, a career

More draft capital wasted by Baalke... SMH

That guy went through draft picks like toilet paper

And they all got flushed down the crapper also


This Michigan D

But Harbs is an offensive coach so it doesn't count.

Gainesville is feeling like it counts right now

What about Prince Charles?

Surely he is PS eligible. He was a rookie last year, on the PS, got promoted to the 53 at the end of the season but I think for less than 6/8 games, and so he would not have an accrued NFL season.
Is the list above complete?

He would be but he’s waived injured I think.


If he clears waivers, he reverts to IR. The team can then do an injury settlement. If they do that, they can’t re-sign him in any capacity for the length of the settlement weeks + 3 weeks.

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