Tonight is the Redskins final preseason game, which means final roster cuts will be coming tomorrow, and the 53-man roster will be finalized by 4 PM on Saturday. The team has already cut some players who many people thought had a shot at being signed to the practice squad when they cut down to 75 players this week. It's unlikely that any of them will be signed after being released this early and not playing in the final game against Tampa Bay.
The NFL and NFLPA also agreed to a new set of rules for practice squads that will be in effect for this year and the following year on a trial basis. Teams gain an additional two slots, and the eligibility for those spots is drastically different from the previous requirements.
Practice squad basics(Old rules)
- Each NFL team can have up to eight players on their practice squad.
- Practice squad players ... practice with the team. They do not play in games.
- Practice squad players are paid per week and can be released at any point during the season.
- Practice squad players are free to sign with other NFL teams, assuming they are signed to the 53-man active roster. A practice squad player cannot be signed to another practice squad unless he is first released.
- A practice squad player can not sign with their team's upcoming opponent, unless they do so six days before the upcoming game or 10 days if their team is currently on a bye week.
- If a practice squad player is signed to the active roster, they will receive a minimum of three paychecks, even if they are released before spending three weeks with the team.
- In order to be signed to a practice squad after being released, a player must first clear through waivers.
Practice squads are considered to be for developmental purposes. Therefore, veterans are not eligible to be signed to the practice squad. In fact, players with more than one year of accrued NFL service are not eligible. Here is a closer look at the eligibility requirements.
- A player is eligible if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience. Players gain an accrued season by being on the active roster for at least six games.
- If a player has one accrued season, they can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 45-man active game day roster for less than nine regular season games.
- A player is deemed to have served a season on the practice squad if he remains on the practice squad for at least three weeks. Players are eligible to be on the practice squad for two seasons.
- Players can be eligible for a third practice squad season if their team maintains no less than 53 players on the active/inactive list at all times.
Practice squad players earn significantly less than players on the active roster, but they still take home a solid weekly paycheck. NFL practice squad players make a minimum of $6,300 per week they are on the practice squad. There is no limit to how much a team can pay a player on the practice squad. Some will offer a higher weekly salary in order to entice better players to sign, although the practice squad contracts do count against the salary cap.
In 2012, multiple teams were reportedly interested in signing OT Tom Compton from the Redskins practice squad during the season, which led to the Redskins increasing his salary and still keeping him on the PS.
He had repeatedly chosen to stay with the team because of his comfort with the coaching staff, but also because any team signing a player off another's practice squad has to keep that player for only three weeks.
"I just figured that it's something like three weeks and then they're allowed to release you, so then I'd be out of luck," Compton said.
Players on the practice squad make $96,900 a year, or $5,700 a week. Compton's contract, restructured after the most recent claim, will now pay him an annual value of $390,000, or roughly $22,950 a week through the remainder of the season.
New Practice Squad Rules(2 spots):
Criteria for practice squad eligibility has been expanded in two categories.A player must have a minimum of six games on a practice squad - increased from the previous three games - for that year to count as one of three permissible seasons on the squad. And each team now can sign a maximum of two practice squad players who have earned no more than two NFL seasons toward free agency. Aside from that exception, a player with one or more accrued seasons can't go on a practice squad unless he spent fewer than nine games on a club's 46-player active list in each of his pro seasons.
Practice Squad Eligible Redskins Players(Old Rules):
Lee Doss, WR
Silas Redd, RB
Robert Thomas, DT
Will Compton, ILB
Tevita Stevens, C
Nick Williams, WR
Chase Minnifield, CB
Trent Murphy, OLB
Morgan Moses, OT
Spencer Long, G
Bashaud Breeland, CB
Ryan Grant, WR
Lache Seastrunk, RB
Ted Bolser, TE
Zach Hocker, K
Phillip Thomas, S
Chris Thompson, RB
Free Agent Signings:
Akeem Davis, S
Gabe Miller, DE/TE
Practice Squad Eligible Redskins(New Rules):
David Amerson, CB
Jordan Reed, TE
Bacarri Rambo, S
Josh LeRibeus, OG
Keenan Robinson, ILB
Tom Compton, OT
Richard Crawford, CB
Free Agent Signings:
Kevin Kowalski, C/OG
Frank Kearse, DT
Tress Way, P
Trenton Robinson, FS