How much money do NFL practice squad players make?

Practice squad players on NFL teams make the kind of money that's consistent with the rest of us common folk.

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One of the main driving forces for every NFL player to get better is the fact there are always hundreds of others gunning for that particular job or roster spot.

And, with each passing year bringing in hundreds of additional players via the NFL Draft, the competition only gets more heated.

It's a good thing to be on an active roster, particularly when it comes to the finances. A veteran's minimum deal is worth $750,000 in 2023, according to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, and it's not too difficult for vested players to earn much more than that.

But, what about those players who don't make a 53-man roster yet land on a team's practice squad? How much do they earn?

Here's how much NFL practice squad players earn

Prior to the 2020 season, practice squad rules were much more strict than they are now, and only certain players who hadn't met the necessary number of accrued seasons would be eligible for the practice squad.

You can get a good idea of the rule changes that impact the current edition of practice squads here.

Practice squad players still can't play in games, unless they're elevated for game day, but they can practice and travel with the team. After 2020, veterans can be added, too, which helped make the practice squad something of an emergency call-up list.

While NFL practice squad players still make what most casual fans would consider good money, it is a mere drop in contrast to players who find a home on a 53-man roster.

Practice squad players make $11,500 per week, which equates to $207,000 for an 18-week regular season. If the practice squad player has more than two accrued years of experience, he'll earn at least $15,400 per week, which is $277,200 for 18 weeks.

The maximum is $19,900 per week, or $358,200.

Why do players sign with NFL practice squads?

In order to land on a practice squad, a team has to release or waive that player from his existing contract, absorbing whatever financial penalties (like dead money) that there'd be.

Practice squad players are paid by the week, so there aren't any yearlong contracts. That said, other teams can sign practice squad players to their own 53-man roster, provided that player isn't "protected" by their current team that particular week, which is part of the rules that went into effect back in 2020.

Read more: 30 greatest 49ers players in franchise history

Still, players almost always want to leave the practice squad, and they'll rarely hesitate to do so if it means a chance at playing on a 53-man roster while making significantly more money.

For those on the absolute fringes of the league, practice squads offer a last desperate hope of hanging around the league a little while longer.

That's important if you consider the average NFL career is just a shade over three years long.

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