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Waiver and Practice Squad Rules for the Jets

Syndication: The Record Kevin R. / USA TODAY NETWORK

Now that we are past cutdown day, we move to the next phase of roster building.

The Waiver Wire

Today NFL teams will be awarded players off waivers.

Players with less than four years of experience are subject to the waiver wire. The 31 teams all have the opportunity to claim a young player another team releases. A team that claims that player receives him and absorbs the player’s current contract. If more than one team places a claim on a player, the team with the highest priority gets him. At this point on the calendar, the priority order is the same as the order of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Thus the Jets have the fourth highest priority. They will be awarded any player they claim unless that player is also claimed by Jacksonville, Detroit, or Houston.

Note that this doesn't work like fantasy football. You don’t go to the back of the line after you make a claim. The Jets will have the fourth highest priority no matter how many players they claim.

A player who is unclaimed is said to have “cleared waivers.” He becomes a free agent and is eligible to sign with any team.

Veterans with four or more years of NFL experience immediate become free agents upon being released and are eligible to sign with any team.

The Practice Squad

Of course there are only so many roster spots to go around.

Teams will also begin filling out their practice squads today. As the name suggests, practice squad players practice with their team.

Practice squads can have up to 16 players. Ten of those slots must be filled by players with two years or less of NFL experience. The other six can be filled by players with any amount of experience.

Two practice squad players can be activated for a game each week. Each practice squad player can be active for a game three times. To activate the player a fourth time, he will need to be signed to the 53 man roster.

Minimum salaries for the practice squad are $11,500 ($207,000 for the season) for young players and $15,400 per week ($277,200 for the season) for veteran players. Teams are allowed to pay more, but practice squad players do count against the salary cap.

A practice squad player exists in a sort of NFL purgatory. In one sense they are part of a team, but they technically are free agents and able to sign to the 53 man roster of any other team (with a few exceptions such as signing with an upcoming opponent.)

We can expect the Jets to begin signing unclaimed players they waived this week to their practice squad as early as today.

The Jets can also sign players who spent the preseason with other teams to their practice squad (and waived Jets players can sign with the practice squads of other teams).