Every year, Tommy and I get a lot of questions about whether Player X can be placed on the practice squad. To help answer those questions, I maintain a list of players who are eligible.
The brand new CBA has clarified a lot of the language in the previous version, and the practice squad section is no exception. The rules haven’t changed, but they are expressed more clearly than they were before:
The Practice Squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Ac-crued Season(s). An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.
So any player who has not been on the 45 man game day active roster for 9 or more games in any single season is eligible, as long as they haven’t been on the practice squad in three prior years. Note that this is not the same as having an accrued season in the NFL. Last year, for example, Garrett Mills had four previous accrued seasons but spent a week on the Eagles’ practice squad because had had never been activated for at least nine games.
Therefore, here is the list of players who are eligible:
- All drafted and undrafted rookies
- Mike Kafka
- Cornelius Ingram
- Chad Hall
- Rod Harper
- AQ Shipley
- Dallas Reynolds
- Fenuki Tupou
- Austin Howard
- Joe Toledo
- Daniel Te’o-Nesheim
- Philip Hunt
- Keenan Clayton
- Brandon Hughes
- Isaiah Trufant
- Colt Anderson
- Jamar Adams
- Jamar Wall
From last year’s rookie class, Brandon Graham, Nate Allen, Trevard Lindley, Clay Harbor, Riley Cooper, Kurt Coleman, and Jorrick Calvin dressed for too many games last year and are not eligible. [edit: Jamar Chaney is also not eligible. Accidentally left him off of this list before.]
I also want to remind everyone about the mechanics for putting players on the practice squad. First, a player has to be waived by the Eagles. The other 31 teams in the league have the right to claim the player on waivers and add that player to their 53 man roster. Once the player has cleared waivers, the Eagles have the right to sign an eligible player to the practice squad. They don’t have any special priority in that … the player is a free agent and may join any other team’s practice squad as well. There is always some recruiting that goes on for some of the players.
Practice squad players will make a minimum of $5,700 a week in 2011. That money counts against the salary cap. In recent years, many teams, including the Eagles, have paid more than the minimum salary to some players that they really didn’t want to lose.