You can add job creator to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's resume after Monday.
The NFL announced it will increase the size of practice squads from a maximum of eight players to ten players:
The NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to expand NFL Practice Squads for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Absent an extension of the agreement, the current rules will be reinstated beginning with the 2016 season.
Under the agreement, 2014 and 2015 Practice Squads will increase from the current maximum of eight players to 10 players.
First, a player must have a minimum of six games – up from the current three games – on a Practice Squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of Practice Squad service.
Second, each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two Practice Squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.
ESPN's Adam Schefter initially reported the news::
By next week, NFL is expected to increase size of practice squads to 10 players from 8, per source. So 64 more jobs.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 18, 2014
John Middlekauff of 97.5 The Game in San Francisco thinks the change is a natural progression considering the size of preseason rosters:
Makes sense if the NFL has 90 man rosters in the preseason, to add 2 additional guys to the practice squad. Simple math— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) August 18, 2014
On its face, the news seems rather unimportant. Why should anybody care about practice squads? When you dig a little deeper, you see this change could have a somewhat significant impact on how teams shape their rosters.
Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times wonders if two QBs in the depth chart might become the norm. The third would be a part of the practice squad:
With larger practice squads, I'd think even more NFL teams carry only 2 QBs on active roster. Third QB on practice squad can run scout team.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 18, 2014
The ability to throw two more players on the practice squad also gives teams a little more flexibility from a personnel perspective. They can afford to take gambles on players who otherwise might have been overlooked and fallen through the cracks. Some players simply need more time to develop before they're ready to contribute to the team.
ESPN.com's Bill Williamson thinks that teams trying to rebuild will be helped the most by the move:
Two extra practice squad spots perfect for building team like #Raiders— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonESPN) August 18, 2014
Every year, you see a handful of players making the leap from the practice squad to active roster who end up making an impact on the field. That will become a little more prevalent with more players added to the scout team.