160 Down, 704 To Go

The first round of roster cuts is here. By Tuesday September 1, at 4:00 pm EST, NFL teams will have trimmed their rosters by at least five players each. The mandatory roster reduction only allows NFL teams to carry a maximum of 75 players on their rosters.  That will amount to another 160 players being added to the current national unemployment numbers.

Taking a look from the pro personnel department perspective, there will be few claims by teams for players on this round of roster cuts.  The players released during this round will be a collection of veteran players whom the coaches and personnel departments feel will not contribute to the team this year. By releasing these types of players now, the team and coaching staff are attempting to show a little “good will” by releasing the veteran player now and giving the other NFL teams an opportunity to notice his release in hopes they may require his services. Most clubs have the “good will” mindset and refrain from making claims for this group of players. Generally, if the player is a veteran, he may get a chance to catch onto another team for a week until the next round of final cuts (September 5).  However, if he is a rookie or practice squad eligible player, he may not get a phone call until after the final cuts to join a practice squad.  (No players have been signed to the practice squad at this time. Practice squad players are not added until the day after the 53-man roster cut. People often misinterpret how, when and who is eligible for the practice squad.)

Personnel departments across the NFL will vigorously scouring each and every player who passes through the daily personnel notice (waiver wire), comparing each to pre-season game grades and cross-checking that information with his collegiate draftable grade to make sure no player who is released slips through the cracks.


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