As NFL Training Camps wind up after this week's final pre-season game, teams will be required to cut their rosters down to 53 players, of which 46 can be active for each regular season game. Once the 53-man rosters are set, teams will be able to sign up to eight players to their Practice Squads. These players will be considered free agents as long as they remain on their team's Practice Squad, meaning that any team can sign a player off of another team's Practice Squad at any time.
This happened to the Baltimore Ravens a few years ago when the Cleveland Browns signed QB Derek Anderson off of the Ravens Practice Squad. Anderson went on to have a Pro Bowl season, signed a huge contract with the Browns and then fizzled out almost as quickly as he appeared.
Salaries for Practice Squad players are set at $5,200/week, which comes out to just over $100,000 a season. Not bad for a player who probably has little chance of seeing the playing field for an actual game, but certainly nothing in comparison to the NFL minimum salary. For more on Practice Squad salaries and specific rules governing who, what, when and how, check out a more comprehensive story from our friends at the Kansas City Chiefs blog, Arrowhead Pride.