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    Do NFL Players Get Paid During Training Camp? Exploring the Preseason Pay Structure

    Are NFL players paid during training camp and the preseason? Let's dive into how NFL salaries work during the exhibition season.

    Spring practices are over, meaning NFL training camps are right around the corner. Soon, players will put on pads and fight for a roster spot.

    Do NFL players get paid during training camp and the preseason? Let’s dive into how much players earn prior to the start of the regular season, and how the pay structure works.

    NFL Training Camp Salaries Explored

    Like all things related to the salary cap, the answer to whether NFL players are paid during training camp and the preseason is spelled out in the league’s most recent collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was ratified in 2020.

    According to Article 23 of the CBA, veteran players are entitled to per diem payments beginning on the first day of training camp and ending on the final day of camp. In this case, a veteran is defined as a player with at least one season of credited service.

    During the 2024 season, veteran players will earn $3,200 per week during training camp and the preseason. That figure will increase to $3,500 per week during the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

    MORE: When Do NFL Training Camps Start? Dates, Locations, and More

    Meanwhile, first-year NFL players will receive a weekly rate of $1,850 in 2024. That will jump to $2,000 per week in 2025 and 2026.

    The CBA also mandates that every NFL player receive room and board during training camp. Additionally, “players who have not yet established residence in the team city” must receive housing between training camp and the Tuesday before their team’s first regular-season game.

    What Does NFL Training Camp Entail?

    Training camp begins with the five-day acclimatization period. This includes physicals, meetings, and classroom instruction. During this time, players only take part in conditioning drills to get their legs warmed up.

    Once Day 2 and Day 3 arrive, the helmets come on. By the fourth and fifth days, the pads come on and players are going full-speed during drills. From there, position battles start to intensify, eventually leading to roster changes.

    Every member of the team’s roster is expected to attend training camp, including rookies and even players rehabbing from an injury.

    Rookies typically have an earlier report date than veteran players so they have a few extra days to get acclimated to their new surroundings.

    How Many Preseason Games Are There?

    In 2021, the NFL enacted a rule change that expanded the regular season from 16 to 17 games and reduced the preseason from four to three games.

    Counting the Hall of Fame Game, there will be 49 total preseason games on the 2024 slate.

    MORE: Complete 2024 NFL Preseason Schedule: Dates, TV Channels, and More

    The preseason always kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. This year, the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears will face off in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Aug. 1.

    The final preseason games will be played on Sunday, Aug. 25.

    How Much Do Practice Squad Players Get Paid?

    Each NFL team is allowed to roster a practice squad — a group of players who aren’t on the active roster but can practice and be elevated on game days.

    The NFL has expanded practice squads in recent years. In 2024, each club can have 16 players on its practice squad, plus there’s an additional spot for an international player thanks to the International Player Pathway Program.

    While NFL practice squad players don’t earn as much as those on 53-man rosters, they still do pretty well. Any player with two or fewer years of accrued seasons will earn $12,000 each week they’re on a practice squad.

    Meanwhile, players with more than two accrued seasons will collect at least $16,100, but not more than $20,600 per week.

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