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NFL practice squad rules, eligibility, deadline, more

10-man practice squads can be formed on Sunday

Running back Kenneth Harper is a player cut by the Giants who has practice squad eligibility
Running back Kenneth Harper is a player cut by the Giants who has practice squad eligibility
Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants, and of course the other 31 NFL teams, can begin putting together a 10-man practice squad at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 6. The 10-man squad is an increase from the eight players allowed on practice squads previously.

Not every player cut is eligible to be signed to a practice squad. Let's look at the rules.

Practice squad eligibility rules

Not every player who is cut is eligible to be signed to the practice squad. The practice squad is designed, in general, to give younger players who have little or no NFL experience, an opportunity to learn, develop and -- hopefully -- work their way up to a 53-man roster. Here are the rules:

  • A player is eligible for the practice squad if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience. Players gain an accrued season by being on the active roster for at least six games. If a player has one accrued season, they can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 45-man active game day roster for fewer than nine regular season games.
  • Each team 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.
  • If a player has served two seasons on a practice squad, he is eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player's employment.
  • A player has served one season on the practice squad if he is on the practice squad for at least six (6) games.

Who might be eligible?

Some of the players the Giants cut who might be eligible include offensive tackle Sean Donnelly, tight end Will Tye, running back Kenneth Harper, safety Justin Halley, defensive end Brad Bars, linebacker Cole Farrand and defensive end Jordan Stanton.