Sports Agent News

September 3, 2007

The NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement: Week 3

Filed under: NFL CBA, NFL Rules/Regulations, Sports — Tags: — emmettjones @ 2:16 am

Back again, for yet another installment of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Today being September 3rd, it only seems right to go over the “practice squad” section, since practice squads were chosen on September 2nd. So, without further adieu, lets cover Article XXXIV of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, entitled “Practice Squads”.

Section 1. Practice Squads:
(a) The League may elect in any League Year in accordance with this Article to establish practice squads not to exceed eight (8) players per Club. The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season.

(b) The League may elect to allow some or all Clubs to add to their practice squads one additional player, who shall not count against the limit above, whose citizenship and principal place of residence are outside the United States and its Territories (“International Player”). The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season. Such International Players shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment that apply to other practice players except that they (1) may not, during the
term of their practice player contract, negotiate or sign an NFL Player Contract with any Club; and (2) may not practice with any Club following the last Conference Championship Game unless both Conference Championship teams have such a player. In addition, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 below, such
International Player shall be eligible to serve on a Practice Squad for three additional seasons after the completion of the player’s year(s) as an International Player. As set forth in Article XXXIV, Section 3, the weekly salary for such international players shall not be included in the employing Club’s Team Salary and shall be deducted from the calculation of the Salary Cap in the same manner as any Player Benefit.

This first section is pretty straightforward. Subsection (a) outlines the maximum number of players allowed to be on an NFL practice squad (8), and states that the number of players chosen to be on a practice squad by the league can very from year to year regardless of what happened the previous year.

Subsection (b) allows a club, if the league has elected to grant this privilege to the clubs, to choose an international player to add to their respective practice squads. These international players, which do not count towards the practice club limit set for the season, are not allowed to sign an NFL player contract with ANY club, and they aren’t allowed to practice past the conference championship game unless both super bowl teams have an international player. Furthermore, any practice squad players that are international players do not lose any of their practice squad eligibility (discussed in section 4), and their weekly salary shall not be included in the club’s team salary.

Section 2. Signing With Other Clubs:
(a) Any player under contract to a Club as a practice squad player shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any Club at any time during the League Year, to serve as a player on any Club’s Active or Inactive List, and any Club is completely free to negotiate and sign such a Player Contract
with such player, without penalty or restriction, including, but not limited to, Draft Choice Compensation between Clubs or First Refusal Rights of any kind, or any signing period, except that such player shall not be permitted to sign a Player Contract with another Club to serve as a practice squad player while under contract as a practice squad player.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a) above, a practice squad player may not sign an NFL Player Contract with his Club’s next opponent later than 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the sixth day preceding the game (except in bye weeks, when the prohibition commences on the tenth day preceding the game).

Subsection (a) allows a practice squad player to sign with any NFL club, without any restrictions, so long as the player is not signed to another club’s practice squad (they must be added to the active or inactive roster).

Notwithstanding subsection (a) above, a practice squad player is not allowed to sign a contract with a club’s next opponent later than 4:00 p.m. New York time, on the sixth day preceding the game (note the bye week exception)

Section 3. Salary: Minimum salary for a practice squad player shall be $4,700 per week for the 2006-07 League Years, $5,200 per week for the 2008-10 League Years and the 2011 League Year if it is an Uncapped Year, and $5,700 per week for the 2011 League Year if it is a Capped Year and the 2012 League Year, including postseason weeks in which his Club is in the playoffs.

This section just outlines the salaries for practice squad players.

Section 4. Eligibility:
(a) The practice squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Accrued Season(s). An otherwise eligible player may be a practice squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.

(b) A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club’s physical and been a member of the club’s Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his
third Practice Squad season. (A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)

Sub-section (a) outlines the type of player that is eligible to become a practice squad player (note: an “accrued season” is a season in which a player is not on (i) the Exempt Commissioner Permission List, (ii) the Reserve PUP List as a result of a non-football injury, or (iii) a Club’s Practice or Development Squad, and they are able to receive a salary for at least six (6) regular season games)

Subsection b states the guidelines for determining whether or not a player has served a year as a practice squad player.

Section 5. Active List: If a player on the Practice Squad of one club (Club A) signs an NFL Player Contract with another club (Club B), (1) the player shall receive three weeks salary of his NFL Player Contract at the 53-player Active/Inactive List minimum even if he is terminated by Club B prior to earning that amount, and (2) Club B is required to count the player on its 53-player Active/Inactive List for three games (a bye week counts as a game) even if he is terminated or assigned via waivers to another club or is signed as a free agent to another club’s 53-player roster or another club’s Practice Squad prior to that time. If the player is terminated from Club B’s 53-player roster and signed to Club B’s Practice Squad, he shall continue to count on the club’s 53-player Active/Inactive List but shall not count against the eight-player Practice Squad limit until the three-game requirement has been fulfilled. If a player is terminated prior to the completion of the three-game period and is signed to Club B’s Practice Squad or is signed or assigned to another club’s 53-player roster or Practice Squad, any salary (as that term is defined in Article XXIV, Section 1(c)) that he receives from any NFL club applicable to the three-game period shall be an offset against the three weeks salary that he is entitled to receive from Club B.

Section 5 deals with the treatment of practice squad players that are later signed to an NFL club. If a club (club B) signs a player off of the practice squad of another team (club A) then the player must receive 3 weeks salary and be counted towards club B’s active/inactive 53 man roster even if they’re terminated before the 3 week period has past.

If the player is not terminated, but is instead signed to club B’s practice squad, they will still count towards a club’s active/inactive roster until the 3 week period has past. The last couple of sentences, dealing with salary are just there to ensure that a player that is signed to any NFL club is entitled to receive 3 weeks and only 3 weeks salary, regardless of the team or team(s) it comes from.

The NFL CBA is fun! The rest of the CBA can be found here.

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2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for making this available!

    Comment by Kuriyya — February 6, 2009 @ 8:08 am

  2. Question:

    For example: A player (Corey Mace) of Buffalo has spent two years on the Bills PR list. He currently has been released and is an UFA.

    If he signs with another club does he have to be on the 53 man Active/Inactive roster or can he spend a third year on the other teams PR list?

    Comment by James — March 2, 2009 @ 11:22 pm


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