The NFL has just made official some changes to the practice squad for the next two seasons.
Specifically, teams can now have 10 players on a practice squad instead of eight. Also, there are some significant changes to the rules concerning eligibility for practice squads that figure to make a lot of players now eligible for practice squads when they would not have been previously. That will definitely factor in to decisions teams will make going forward, knowing that some players will now have practice squad eligibility they would not have had previously.
A few Seahawks I think now have practice squad eligibility that did not appear to have it before these changes are Benson Mayowa, Spencer Ware, Jordan Hill and Phil Bates.
Here is the release from the NFL on the changes to the practice squad:
The NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to expand NFL Practice Squads for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Absent an extension of the agreement, the current rules will be reinstated beginning with the 2016 season.
Under the agreement, 2014 and 2015 Practice Squads will increase from the current maximum of eight players to 10 players.
In addition, the criteria for Practice Squad eligibility has been expanded in two respects.
First, a player must have a minimum of six games – up from the current three games – on a Practice Squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of Practice Squad service.
Second, each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two Practice Squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.
All other practice squad rules under Article 33 of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in effect during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.