NFL Practice Squad Salary: How much do practice squad players make?

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Most Steelers fans can tell you which players on the team possess the biggest contracts and approximately how much their star players are earning. If you ask even the most casual fan, they would be able to point to T.J. Watt as the team's biggest breadwinner in recent years.

But what about practice squad players?

While not part of the team's final 53-man roster, practice squad players are still important. We have seen numerous members of the practice squad get called up to the active roster and fill roles when players go down with injuries.

We know that practice squad players don't make as much as the members of the 53-man roster, but what do their salaries look like? Let's dive into the details.

How much do practice squad players make?

As of 2023, players on an NFL practice squad with fewer than two accrued seasons earn a weekly salary of $12,000. This means that players who are able to stick on the practice squad for a full 18-week season will earn $216,000 -- no small amount for practicing a few days per week from September to January. According to Sporting News, this bumps up to $12,500 per week in 2025.

Practice squad players with more than two accrued seasons under their belt earn $16,100 per week, as of 2023. This means that they can earn up to $289,800 for a full season on an NFL team's practice squad. These players are rewarded for their experience and longevity in the league.

In today's NFL, practice squad players can be promoted to a team's active roster for up to three games per season without having to clear waivers when they return to the practice squad. This comes with a pay increase, which is a prorated portion of the minimum salary while they are on the active roster.

Practice squad players only earn a fraction of the income of most players on the 53-man roster, and their salaries look insignificant compared to NFL stars, but this is still an excellent income for players pursuing their NFL dreams. Every once in a while, a practice squad player proves himself and earns a much bigger paycheck as a full-time active member of the team.