What joining NFL team would mean for Rees-Zammit

What joining NFL team would mean for Rees-Zammit

Louis Rees-Zammit in action for WalesImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Louis Rees-Zammit won 32 caps for Wales in rugby union before making the switch to the NFL

By Philip Marsh

BBC Sport Wales

Former Wales rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit has this week been talking to Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs as he tries to find an NFL team willing to sign him for next season.

In a shock move, the 23-year-old quit rugby on the eve of this year’s Six Nations tournament to pursue a career in American football.

He has taken part in the 2024 NFL international player pathway (IPP), a 10-week crash course designed to teach players the required skills to succeed in the NFL.

But even if he were to sign for an NFL team, he would not be guaranteed to start a competitive match.

What would signing for a team mean?

NFL franchises are allowed to have up to 90 players during the off-season but, as the start of each season approaches, that number is whittled down to a roster of 53 for the regular season.

Those who miss out are either cut from the team entirely, or placed on a franchise’s practice squad.

Players who come through the IPP often begin their NFL careers on practice squads, and few have ever progressed to holding down a starting role for a significant length of time.

The best examples of those who have come through the IPP are Philadelphia Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata and Washington Commanders defensive end Efe Obada.

In 2024, for the first time, all 32 NFL teams will be given an additional roster spot on their practice squads specifically for players who have come through the IPP, which could be of benefit to Rees-Zammit.

Teams who have an IPP player on the practice squad will also be allowed to promote the player to the final active 53-man squad, without taking up a space, up to three times during the season.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Philadelphia Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata was part of the 2018 IPP and has played 62 games for the franchise

Which teams are interested in Rees-Zammit?

After finishing the IPP, Rees-Zammit showcased his skills at University of South Florida’s Pro Day, with scouts from all NFL teams in attendance.

He has since had meetings with the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos and most recently Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs are the most eye-catching of th

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