At the end of every season each man on the practice squad immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent. Playoff teams keep their practice squads until they are eliminated, but teams that do not make the playoffs lose all their practice squad players to free agency as soon as the last game of the regular season is over.
In order to protect these players from being poached by other teams, they are signed to what are called futures contracts, which simply retain the team’s rights to the players until the next league year begins in mid March, when they can be signed to the expanded 90 man roster.
The New York Jets have signed 6’ 5”, 307 pound center Jon Toth, 6’ 1”, 220 pound wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey and 6’ 6”, 300 pound offensive tackle Dieugot Joseph to futures contracts. All three are 24 years old and were eligible for the 2017 NFL draft. Yancey was a fifth round pick of the Green Bay Packers in that draft, while Toth and Joseph went undrafted. All three players ended the 2018 season on the Jets practice squad.