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How much money do NFL practice squad players make?

Final cuts in the NFL were Tuesday, and for many players who didn’t make the final roster, the practice squad is an option to continue the football career.

Final cuts in the NFL were Tuesday, and for many players who didn't make the final roster, the practice squad is an option to continue the football career.
George Walker IVUSA TODAY Sports

Many players who failed to find their way onto an NFL 53-man roster are still licking their wounds after Tuesday’s cut. It’s a harsh reality that an unlucky few have to come to terms with as their professional football dreams come to a halt.

Sixteen players signed to practice squad

There are a handful of those players that missed out on their chance to make the roster that still have a chance to be a part of the team, although they won’t be dressing out on Sunday’s or making road trips with the squad. It’s a bittersweet deal for those cut during the preseason, but the practice squad offers a chance for players who missed out on the 53-man roster to keep playing football and get paid for it.

The practice squad is a far cry from the fame and fortune of playing on Sundays, but for many players who live, eat and breathe football it’s an opportunity to get paid for doing what you love while still getting a chance to attract the coaches attention.

This year, NFL teams can sign 16 players to their practice squad. That number jumped up from 12 before the 2020 season when COVID interrupted the leagues plans to slowly increase the number, and squad sizes were increased immediately due to the pandemic.

Steady increase in practice squad pay until 2030

There are strict rules and regulations concerning who a team is allowed to have on their practice squad. Generally practice squads consist of a mix of veterans but mostly young guys who have not accused a season in the NFL, in other words, rookies. The young guys are either rookies or players that have not accured more than nine regular season games over the course of their career.

There are players who are allowed on the practice squad with more experience, but the league limits the amount of those players a team can have during a season. A team can have up to six players with no limits on their number of accused seasons. This allows some veteran players with NFL experience to stick around and provide the practice squad with some seasoned talent.

While the salary may not as lucrative as an NFL contract, practice squad members do get paid a livable wage. The players on the practice squad get a weekly salary set by the league Collective Bargaining Agreement. This year players two or few accused seasons will get $11,500 a week. That number will increase until the expiration of the CBA deal in 2030.

Year Weekly salary

2022: $11,500

2023: $12,000

2024: $12,500

2025: $13,000

2026: $13,750

2027: $14,500

2028: $15,250

2029: $16,000

2030: $16,750

More experienced veterans on the practice squads get a little more than the younger members of the squad. There is not just one fixed salary for these players. There is a set minimum and a set maximum and the vets can try to negotiate to get the top possible contract. Here are the weekly max and min salaries for the years to come.

Year Minimum Maximum

2022: $15,400 $19,900

2023: $16,100 $20,600

2024: $16,800 $21,300

2025: $17,500 $22,000

2026: $18,350 $22,850

2027: $19,200 $23,700

2028: $20,050 $24,550

2029: $20,900 $25,400

2030: $21,750 $26,250

Practice squad players can be temporarily promoted to the 53-man roster if a team needs some depth at a particular position. The week salary will be prorated with NFL league minimum being calculated or that week on the roster. A team can only do this three times before they have to sign that player to the official roster.


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