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Jets Practice Squad: Things to Know

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After all of the cuts are made over the next few days, the Jets will sign a ten man practice squad. There are some key things to know.

  • Before a player can be put on the practice squad, he will have to clear waivers. What does that mean? When a player with less than four years of NFL service time is cut, the other 31 teams have the opportunity to claim him off waivers. If a team claims the player, it must give him a roster spot and assume his contract. If more than one team claims a player, he is awarded to the team with the worst record last season. If you look at this from the other side, the Jets will thus have a high priority if they are interested in claiming players let go by other teams.
  • Once on a practice squad, a player practices with a team but is not eligible to play in games unless signed to the 53 man active roster. Practice squad players are also free to sign to be on the active roster of any team at any point. The only exception is practice squad players are not allowed to sign with their current team's next opponent.
  • If a player is signed off the practice squad, he is guaranteed three game paychecks even if he is released before that point.
There are eligibility rules for the practice squad. Now get ready because this is going to get really convoluted.

For eight of the ten spots
  • A player must have not spent six games on an active 53 man roster for six games in any single season
  • A player must not have been active for nine games in any single season. (Teams can only activate 46 of their 53 players on game day.)
  • Players are eligible to be on the practice squad for two seasons. Players are eligible for a third practice squad season if their team keeps it active roster filled with 53 players at all times.
For two of the ten spots
  • A player must not have spent six games on an active 53 man roster for more than two seasons. (All rookies, second year, and third year players are eligible for these spots.)