Earlier this year, the NFL expanded offseason rosters to 90 for the first time ever. And so now it’s time, for the first time ever, to start moving from 90 to 53.
By 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday, every team must be at 75 players. They’ll get there by one or more of the following devices: waiving players with fewer than four years of experience; cutting vested veterans with four or more years of NFL service (like Terrell Owens); placing players on injured reserve; moving players from the active/Physically Unable to Perform list to the reserve/PUP list; and shifting players from the active/Non-Football Injury list to the reserve/Non-Football Injury list.
At least half the league already has started the process, which we’re tracking comprehensively.
Then, by Friday at 9:00 p.m. ET, every team must be at 53 players.
Between now and then, there will be churning of the 75-man roster. Players who thought they had secured a chance to play in the final preseason game (in the hopes of securing a chance to make it to the 53-man roster) will learn that they’ve been bumped by players claimed on waivers or signed as free agents.
That same churning will happen after Friday, with the final five-to-10 spots on the 53-man roster changing not just between September 1 and September 9 but throughout the season.
It’ll be a disappointing week for many players, but it’s a necessary step in getting teams ready for the coming season. The opening game is only nine days away.