American Football

What does it mean when the Jets sign a player to a reserve/future contract?

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What does it mean when the Jets sign a player to a reserve/future contract?
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

An unusual term. What are the Jets doing?

Over the next few days you will hear that the Jets have signed players to reserve/future contracts. In fact it began the day after the 2022 season ended.

So what is this all about? It has to do with the NFL calendar.

It is still the 2022 NFL league year. Since we are past cutdown day, teams are only allowed to have 53 players on their roster.

The 2023 NFL league year begins on March 15. At that point teams will be allowed to have up to 90 players on their roster to prepare for training camp.

So that teams don’t need to wait until March to start stocking their training camp roster, the NFL allows reserve/future contracts. These players will be signed for training camp for the 2023 league year but don’t begin counting against a team’s roster limit until March. Hence the term “future.”

Anybody who is currently a free agent is allowed to sign a reserve/future contract. A team’s practice squad immediately is abolished at the end of the season, and all players become free agents. These players become eligible to sign with the Jets or another team on a reserve/future deal.

It is important to note that players with expiring contracts like George Fant and Connor McGovern cannot sign a reserve/future contract. Their contracts technically don’t expire until the end of this league year.

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