NFL to expand practice squads in 2024
According to reports, the National Football League is set to make a change in 2024 by expanding practice squads for all 32 clubs to include one international player. This move comes as part of the NFL's ongoing efforts to broaden its global reach and create opportunities for athletes from around the world.
Why it Matters: A Game-Changing Initiative
The National Football League introduced the International Player Pathway (IPP) program in 2017, initially allocating international players to select divisions. However, the upcoming change signifies a substantial expansion of this initiative. In 2022, both the AFC West and the NFC North divisions began participating in the IPP, with eight international players joining NFL teams. Starting in 2024, all NFL clubs can expand their practice squads to 17 players, provided that at least one of them qualifies as an international player.
A qualifying international player is defined as someone whose citizenship and primary residence are outside the United States and Canada and who has a maximum of two years of US high school experience. They must also meet all NFL player eligibility rules and have been eligible for a previous NFL Draft. Clubs have the option to sign international players through the NFL's IPP program or scout independently for global talent.
The Detroit Lions are already participating
The Detroit Lions are among the teams that have actively engaged in this initiative. They added Australian tight end Patrick Murtagh, who participated in the league's international combine but later faced a setback due to a medical issue. Continuing their pursuit of international talent, the Lions signed Italian offensive lineman Max Pircher, highlighting the global nature of the program.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The National Football League will expand practice squads in 2024 to include one international player for each of the 32 clubs.
- The move aims to increase the league's global reach and provide opportunities for international athletes.
- The change allows clubs to promote international practice squad players to the active roster and offers more flexibility for teams.
Bottom Line – A Global Vision for the NFL
As the National Football League gears up for the expansion of practice squads in 2024, the league is sending a clear message: football knows no boundaries. By welcoming international players into the fold and providing more opportunities for them to shine, the NFL is embracing a global vision for the sport. This initiative not only strengthens the league's commitment to inclusivity but also paves the way for international athletes to showcase their skills on the grand stage of American football. As the NFL continues to evolve, the game becomes more accessible and appealing to a diverse and worldwide audience.