Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Nov 2007

The Secret World Of The Practice Squad

Life on the Detroit Lions practice squad means always knowing you aren't good enough to beat out a Matt Millen draft pick.

Posted by: Sean McCormick on 01 Nov 2007

8 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2007, 7:18pm by MarkV


by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:12pm

Nice find!

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:13pm

Do practice squad salaries count against the cap? I'm curious because it seems every year the Patriots have one or two PS players who are given (low end) active-roster-level salaries.

by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:15pm

Cool article.

by Toxikfetus (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:25pm

What do practice-squad cheerleaders look like? Beards? Peg-legs? Grossly misshapen heads, a la Sloth from The Goonies?

by Sam (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:37pm


In 2001, the collective salary of the PS guys counted against the cap (http://www.jaguars.com/news/article.aspx?id=1499) but that was a case where all of them made the PS minimum. Now the practice squad rules have changed since then (8 guys instead of 5... not sure if anything else has changed) so it's possible the salary doesn't count. But I'm guessing that it does.

by GoBigRed (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 4:25pm

The practice squad does count against the cap. Click my name for patscap.com. The best unofficial salary cap site on the web (for the Patriots).

by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 4:44pm

Really good article. What proportion of practise-squaders actually stick on a roster? I'm willing to bet it's not high.

by MarkV (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 7:18pm

7: That depends on the team and position. Denver is the team I follow and they inevitably sign to their PS
1) A FA rookie from either CU or CSU
2) 2 O-line prospects.
3) other practice squad players.

Number 2 will almost always make their roster (at least for a year as a backup), number 1 has a good chance after two years on the practice squad and the others hardly ever unless really brutal injuries hit.