With NFL teams including the New York Giants trimming their rosters to the regular season limit of 53 players and, subsequently building their practice squads, let’s go through the rules for each.
Waiver wire rules
Teams have until noon ET on Wednesday to file a claim for any player released in the roster cuts from 90 to 53 players. The Giants are No. 26 in the waiver claim order, which matches where they were positioned in the 2023 NFL Draft. That means if the Giants claim a player they will not be awarded that player unless none of the 25 teams ahead of them have also claimed that player.
Players with less than four accrued NFL seasons are subject to waivers. Those with more than four accrued seasons are considered to be released and can sign with any team immediately. Players subject to waivers do not become free agents unless they go unclaimed in the waiver process.
An accrued season requires a player to have full-play status for at least six regular-season games in a given season.
Practice squad rules
How many players? NFL practice squads currently consist of 16 players.
Who is eligible? Here are the current eligibility rules:
- Players who do not have an accrued season of NFL experience.
- Free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine games in their only accrued season.
- A maximum of 10 free agent players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons.
- A maximum of six free agent players with no limitations to their number of earned accrued seasons.
When can teams start building practice squads? Once the waiver claim period ends teams can begin to sign players to their practice squads. This year, that means after noon on Wednesday.
How much do practice squad players make? Players with two accrued seasons or less will earn $12,000 for each week they are on a practice squad. Players with more than two accrued seasons will earn at least $16,100 per week with a maximum of $20,000.
In order to be allowed to return during the season injured players must first be placed on a team’s 53-man regular season roster. Beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday teams can place those players on the Injured Reserve or Reserve/Non-Football Injury lists. Players placed on those lists at or after that time have to miss at least four regular season games.
Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list
Players who are placed on the PUP list before training camp begins and subsequently spend all of training camp on that list are eligible to be placed on the regular-season PUP list. Once a player is placed on the PUP list, he must miss at least the first four games of the season. During this time, he will not count against his team’s 53-man roster. Once the player begins practicing, a team gets a three-week window to decide whether to activate him or leave him on PUP for the remainder of the season.