NFL expanding practice squads to include one international player starting in 2024

The NFL just announced the expansion of the practice squad for all 32 teams beginning in 2024 to include one international player, helping to create more opportunities for athletes from around the world to be identified and developed in hopes of enhancing the game globally.

The league started the International Pathway Program in 2017, allowing one player to be on the 53-man roster, and beginning in 2024, the practice squad will expand to 17 players for all 32 clubs if one player is a qualifying international player.

“The practice squad roster expansion for international players will further contribute to our goal of building a sustainable pathway to the NFL for elite global athletes, while also creating local connections with fans around the world,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business, Major Events & International. “With the support of all 32 clubs, the NFL International Committee, the NFL Competition Committee and the NFL Players Association, we look forward to implementing this new model to benefit the game long-term and welcome more international talent into our League in the years to come.”

Thirty-seven international players have signed with NFL teams (allocated, drafted, or signed as a free agent) since the program’s inception.

There are currently 19 IPP athletes on NFL rosters, with five players having made teams active rosters – Jordan Mailata (Australia — Philadelphia Eagles), Efe Obada (UK — Washington Commanders), Jakob Johnson (Germany — Las Vegas Raiders), Sammis Reyes (Chile — Washington Commanders) and David Bada (Germany — Washington Commanders).

Philadelphia’s Mailata is the most accomplished player in the program, developing into one of the top left tackles in the NFL and signing a four-year, $64 million contract with Philadelphia, including a $10,000,000 signing bonus, $40,850,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $16,000,000.

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire