NFL Practice Squad rules: Which Steelers are eligible?

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

On cutdown day, several quality players will be released, but teams will sign up to eight of them to their respective practice squad; a designation meaning a team controls their rights and pays them a salary to practice with the team. Here are the rules and eligibility requirements for the Steelers practice squad.

(Big nod to David Fucillo and Niners Nation for compiling this information here)

Rules

In order to be eligible for the practice squad, players must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have no prior Accrued Seasons in the NFL (An accrued season is six or more games on the active roster);
  • Have one prior Accrued Season in which the player was on the 45-man active roster for no more than 8 games;
  • If served two seasons on a practice squad, are 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.

It's worth noting that a player will be considered to have served on a practice squad in a season if he were a member of a practice squad for three regular or postseason games during his first two practice squad seasons, or for one regular season or postseason game during a third practice squad season.

Players on the practice squad can earn a minimum of $5,700 per week in 2012. It is worth noting teams can pay a member of the practice squad anything above that amount but it appears as though it impacts the salary cap.

It is also important to note that once a player signs with a practice squad, with one exception he can sign with another team's 53-man roster at any point during the season. The one exception is that practice squad players may not sign a contract with his team's next opponent after 4 p.m. ET six days preceding the game (10 days preceding in bye weeks). A player cannot sign a practice squad contract with one team and then leave to sign a practice squad contract with another team, unless the first team has released said player.

Finally, if a player is promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, that player must remain there for three weeks and get paid the minimum salary for their status. If they are let go before the three weeks, they still receive the three weeks pay.

There is one exception to this called the Contagious Disease Addendum, which was first added in June 2010 in a side letter agreement to the last CBA. This states that if a player is promoted from the practice squad for a game because a club was given a roster exemption due to confirmed or suspected cases of contagious disease among its players, the player remains on his practice squad contract, but will be paid 1/17 of the league minimum salary. After the game he will be returned to the practice squad without having to clear waivers.

Which Steelers are eligible?

Quarterbacks

Landry Jones

Running backs

Alvester Alexander

Le'Veon Bell

Wide receivers

- Justin Brown

Reggie Dunn

Kashif Moore

Derek Moye

Markus Wheaton

Tight ends

Nathan Overbay

Offensive linemen

- Mike Golic Jr.

David DeCastro

Chris Hubbard

- Joe Long

Joe Madsen

Defensive linemen

Brian Arnfelt

- Loni Fangupo

Alameda Ta'amu

Linebackers

Alan Baxter

Terence Garvin

Jarvis Jones

Marshall McFadden

Vince Williams

Cornerbacks

Isaiah Green

Terry Hawthorne

Devin Smith

Josh Victorian (Steelers must have 53 players on their roster)

Safeties

Ross Ventrone

Shamarko Thomas

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