Part of the newly signed CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement for those who don’t know what CBA stands for) is that practice squads grew from 10 players to 12 players. According to Mike Garafolo, another increase could be on the way. Garafolo said that there are internal talks about an increase to 16 players per NFL practice squad.
This is not surprising as if a player tests positive for Covid-19 that player would be unable to play until they have recovered and then test negative. Having practice squads expand to 16 players would greatly benefit NFL teams. The more players that can practice with the team means that there are more players within the system and have experience with a team. Calling up a player from the practice squad is much more effective than signing a random free agent off the street.
An expansion to the size of NFL practice squad would be beneficial to all parties involved. Increasing practice squads from 12 to 16 players adds 128 jobs. That’s over half the amount of draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Not only does this allow teams to have a bigger and more reliable supply of players in the possibility of a positive Covid-19 test, it benefits players. The added jobs benefit players in more ways than simply allowing more players to earn income. The other benefit is the experience. Players don’t just improve from playing games. Practice is just as, if not more, important as a game. Working on technique and simply being around better players allows a younger player to develop quicker. The views also benefit because if a player knows the system, they play better (shocking right??). It’s not surprising that fans want to watch better quality football.
Ultimately, if the NFL and NFLPA agree to expand practice squads for the 2020 season all parties benefit. Players benefit, teams benefit and ultimately the consumers benefit. It is in everyone’s best interest that this expansion happens.