The negotiation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been a heated battle between the NFL and its Player Association. It has some divisive proposals, but one that is likely agreed upon all around is the expansion of each team’s roster by 2 active and 4 practice squad spots. As the guys at The Comeback have pointed out, this could have a real effect on the XFL.
Teams would then carry 55 players on the roster (it’s unclear how many could be gameday active) and 14 Practice squad hopefuls waiting in the wings. This may sound like a slight adjustment, but when compiled across the league, it’ll affect the number of available players next year in the XFL.
2 Active Roster Spots x 32 Teams = 64 Additional NFL Players
XFL Teams hold 55 players, so the active roster spots subtract an entire roster plus from the talent pool. These spots will likely be for players in that upper tier of the XFL who are looking to get a shot at the NFL. While many might prefer the new league to being stashed on a practice squad, the chance to make an active roster is what many of these guys have dreamed of their whole lives.
4 Practice Squad Spots x 32 Teams = 128 Additional Practice Squad Players
This number, while larger is actually less concerning to me. While having 128 fewer players around in the offseason could be a minor detriment to teams in the XFL, a lot of those guys could still end up here come spring.
There’s no word on if camp rosters are expanded as well, and assuming that number is still at 90 players I don’t think the larger practice squads are too much to be concerned about. This would only really affect the talent pool from August-December in most cases, giving these 128 guys plenty of time to find spots in the XFL. It could actually be a benefit in the fact that people coming off practice squads will be in game shape.
Now. All of this is speculative because the CBA is still in the midst of hotly contested negotiations. Nobody can seem to agree on terms, and it looks like players and the league are on different pages in a lot of ways. Time will tell how this plays out.
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