Practice squads are an imperative part of NFL teams, but how much money do practice squad players make?
NFL teams will be tasked with filling their practice squads over the next few days. Around this team of year, NFL fans are usually left wondering why teams have practice squads and how much these players are paid.
Why Do NFL Teams Have Practice Squads?
The easy answer to this question is because teams need a place to keep young, developing players. Although a 53 man roster may seem huge, it really is nothing in the grand scheme of things.
On a playing roster, a team needs 11 player on offense, 11 players on defense, substitutes, and specialists. Moreover, when a player is injured for a short period of time they have to be left on the roster and cannot be placed on the IR.
Therefore, it makes very little sense to use up a roster spot on a developing player who is unlikely to contribute quickly. This is where practice squads come in.
Every team has a practice squad made up primarily of players with less than 2 accrued seasons. These players can practice with the team but are ineligible to play on game day.
However, they can be called up to the 53 roster to replace an injured or ineffective player. Once called up, they must remain there for a minimum of 3 weeks.
How Much Do Practice Squad Players Get Paid?
The NFLPA and NFL reached a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) regarding the pay structure for practice squad players in March. After the ratification of the CBA, practice squad players will now be paid according to how long they have been in the league.
Players with fewer than 2 accrued seasons in the NFL make up the majority of practice squad members. These players will be paid a fixed weekly salary of $8,400 in 2020. This totals to $134,400 for 16 games.
However, per the new CBA, this fixed salary will increase every year until 2030. By 2030, it will be $16,750.
Similarly, for players with more than 2 accrued seasons, the salaries are set to increase over the next 10 years. In 2020, the minimum and maximum weekly salary is set at $12,00 for these players. In 2030, the minimum weekly salary for this group will be $21,750 and the maximum will be $26,250.