When the NFL regular season starts, each franchise is allowed to keep 53 players on their active roster, with another eight players on the "practice squad." That could change this week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:
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
Expanding the practice squad to ten players makes a lot of sense, both in terms of keeping more players in the league but also in allowing a player to develop with a franchise. Teams like the Miami Dolphins, who have a glut of young talent at certain positions, can attempt to stash younger players on the practice squad, and now will have more slots with which to work.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement defines practice squad eligibility in Article 33, Section 4:
(a) The Practice Squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Accrued Season(s) . An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.
(b) A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club's physical and been a member of the club's Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third Practice Squad season. (For purposes of this Section, a bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)
The CBA also defines the minimum salary requirements for practice squad players, which in 2014 is $6,300 per week.