How Much Do NFL Practice Squad Players Make?

Kansas City Chiefs Training Session
Kansas City Chiefs Training Session / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Are you looking for an exciting new career opportunity? Are you interested in entry-level work where the pay is surprisingly competitive? Have you considered joining an NFL practice squad? Starting pay for a non-veteran is currently $12,000 a week with the opportunity to earn up to $216,000 for a full season. Plus, if you are on the practice squad when the team wins a Super Bowl, you are eligible to receive a championship ring.

Not bad work if you can get it. Veteran players make between $16,100 and $20,600 a week, up from a minimum of $15,4000 in 2022. That means veterans can make up to $370,800 in 2023. And considering the high rate of turnover on the actual roster thanks to injuries, there's always the opportunity to make more because players who get called up to the active roster get a prorated minimum salary for a player with their amount of service.

NFL practice squad is also a growing industry. In addition to the consistent pay increases, practice squads now consist of a minimum of 16 players, up from 12 back in 2022. Again, injury and illness is changing the way the league views this previously overlooked part of every organization. In 2024 the practice squad will grow again as the NFL is designating another spot specifically for international players.

Paul Brown invented the practice squad back in the 1940's with the owner of the Cleveland Browns, Arthur McBride circumventing league payroll rules by putting players on the payroll of his taxi company. Thus, they were originally called the "taxi squad." At least that's what Wikipedia says. That information is from a book so there's really no way to verify it, but it sounds about right.

Anyway, if you're looking to make some extra cash this holiday season, apply to your NFL local practice squad. You've always been the next man up, now get paid for it.