What is an NFL Reserve/Future contract?
As the name implies, a Reserve/Future contract is a contract that obligates a football player to the team on the first day of the new NFL season. If you consider the fact that any player who signs with a team on the practice squad does so for the current NFL season. Unlike the contracts to an NFL team's regular roster, practice squad contracts are written on a year to year basis.
Players who are not signed to a standard NFL contract: Including free agents and practice squad members, can sign a Reserve/Future contract with any NFL team. Reserve/Future contracts can be signed for any amount, but are almost always signed for the minimum NFL salary. And because they do not take effect until the next season, they do not impact a team's current salary cap.
Any number of players can be signed to Reserve/Future contracts, up to the maximum NFL offseason roster limit of 90 players. Many of the players signed for the next fiscal year are generally signed off an NFL team's own practice squad, if for no other reason than sheer familiarity.
Once signed to a Reserve/Future contract, those players are now obligated to that team for the next NFL season. In the case of 14 players who signed Reserve/Future contracts with the LA Rams, they are now obligated to report to the Rams when the 2024 NFL season begins, and they are prohibited from negotiating a new contract with any other NFL team until released by the LA Rams.