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Rosters could expand to 55

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The Competition Committee’s annual pre-league meeting get-together includes, for 2015, examination of roster size.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Competition Committee is considering expanding rosters from 53 to 55.

Opposition to larger rosters previously came from the fact that more than a few teams were having trouble staying under a salary cap that was flat and/or “smoothing.”  In recent years, the salary cap has been increasing more quickly.  Coupled with the impact of the rookie wage scale on the market for veterans (many are paid less and less because quality rookies are cheaper than ever), there’s plenty of extra cash available under the cap to pay two more players per team.

The NFL Players Association would have a voice in roster expansion.  At one level, the union should welcome it; more roster spots means more jobs.  More jobs means more employees.  More employees means the union grows.

But more jobs under a hard cap means fewer available dollars per employees.  That said, expanding the pool of full-time workers from 1,696 to 1,760 shouldn’t have much of a total impact on employees sharing a maximum available annual payroll of more than $4.5 billion, and climbing.

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35 Responses to “Rosters could expand to 55”
  1. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Mar 1, 2015 1:52 PM

    But it still won’t help the Bills find a QB.

  2. jchemengr says: Mar 1, 2015 1:53 PM

    Expanding the roster is just as likely to lengthen some marginal careers as anything else. If I’m currently the backup tight end, I’m cool with that.

  3. bettis3636 says: Mar 1, 2015 1:53 PM

    Expand the roster for the overpaid one trick pony… GOOD IDEA!

  4. bluenoser12 says: Mar 1, 2015 1:53 PM

    Never going to happen. The NFL does not want more specialists. You guys did a good peice on this several months ago and you should link the story as it is relevant.

  5. cuttyplease says: Mar 1, 2015 1:55 PM

    They should definitely increase the roster size to 55.

  6. grimreaper12 says: Mar 1, 2015 2:01 PM

    not fair. can you imagine what belichick could do with 2 extra players?

    #worldchampions #drivefor5

  7. Seeker says: Mar 1, 2015 2:14 PM

    Expanding the roster by two is good but what about expanding the game day roster as well.

  8. chris6523 says: Mar 1, 2015 2:20 PM

    Currently, I believe only the highest 51 salaries on each roster count against the salary cap. If they expanded the rosters to 55 and kept the rule about only 51 counting against the cap, no problem. Each team would have two more minimum contracts on their roster. My guess is in exchange, the practice squads would drop by 2. Difference between minimum salary and practice squad salary is about $300,000. The move to 55 would cost each team $600,000 and likely nothing against the cap. No problem.

  9. mianfr says: Mar 1, 2015 2:26 PM

    Isn’t salary cap just on the 48 highest paid players anyway?

  10. MTLighthouse69 says: Mar 1, 2015 2:26 PM

    They must really want Michael Sam to make one of the rosters.

  11. onermedboxer says: Mar 1, 2015 2:32 PM

    With the rate of injuries + the need for true depth to be a playoff team, I think this could help increase parity

  12. chooch93 says: Mar 1, 2015 2:38 PM

    This became necessary around like 2006 when the long snapper became a specialized role for every team. At that point every team used a roster spot on a player that just snapped on punts, extra points and field goals. Before that your long snapper was maybe a third te or that 4th outside linebacker who also ran down on kickoffs.

  13. padraighansen says: Mar 1, 2015 2:40 PM

    As they toughen in-game concussion protocols, along with normal injuries, it’s not the roster size of 53; it’s the game day rosters of only 45. Make 50-53 players eligible to dress and be active on game days.

  14. greghill7494 says: Mar 1, 2015 2:44 PM

    wonder who the NFL going to pick the win superbowl this year

  15. chrisswitzer2189 says: Mar 1, 2015 2:50 PM

    55 is a good move or make it a 2-man veteran squad…kinda like the practice squad for younger players you can have a 2-man veteran squad for players 34+years old to be a player-coach…my skins could have santana moss on that squad lol

  16. One For The Thumb says: Mar 1, 2015 3:05 PM

    I hope the Patriots stick to using 53. Every time they do something the rest of the league does there is a new gate and Patriot haters lose their minds.

  17. brucealmty says: Mar 1, 2015 3:12 PM

    They should expand those who dress on game day to the full roster b4 expanding the roster.

  18. txtopsider says: Mar 1, 2015 3:16 PM

    Going to 55 players will drop the average salary per player below $2.6 million. The Players Association will probably not allow that, as ridiculous as that sounds.

  19. returntoexcellence says: Mar 1, 2015 3:17 PM

    Expand the roster to 60. Of that, 55 can dress and be eligible for play and the top 50 are the only ones that count towards the cap. Personally I think every one on the team should be able to dress but this would be a start…

  20. drunkrichard says: Mar 1, 2015 3:23 PM

    Get rid of the stupid inactive rule for game day 1st

  21. bearssuck says: Mar 1, 2015 3:23 PM

    Rosters should be 80 players,

  22. dumbaseinstien says: Mar 1, 2015 3:41 PM

    Expanding the rosters is just a preclude to expanding the season. I agree with a 55 man team but disagree it should come to facilitate a longer season, expanded playoffs or expanded NFL outside U.S.A.

  23. revren10 says: Mar 1, 2015 3:58 PM

    Rosters at 55 would be excellent. Gives teams more options on who to keep. Better chance to develop fringe players

  24. head1994 says: Mar 1, 2015 4:06 PM


  25. tjacks7 says: Mar 1, 2015 4:19 PM

    Why make a bunch of guys inactive on game day? Still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you carry 60 guys on a team.. they should all be active on game day.

  26. gsomatt says: Mar 1, 2015 5:52 PM

    prepping for expanding the number of regular season and playoff games.

  27. coltzfan166 says: Mar 1, 2015 6:03 PM

    I was thinking awhile back that this would be a good idea, given the massive increase in the cap over the last few years. Hope it happens

  28. chaunce922 says: Mar 1, 2015 7:25 PM

    Besides the fact that 52 is a weird number, this is long over do.

    Now theres room for designated returners and other specialist that arnt quite good enough to get in the rotation but can still contribute and you dont have to put one of your better players in harms way.

    It should honestly be more but, one small step etc..

  29. pack4vikes0 says: Mar 1, 2015 8:01 PM

    I agree game day rosters should be 48 or 50 players, with one reserved for a third quarterback, the league complains that it can’t develop decent backup qb’s, NFL put your money where your mouth is.

  30. gosfvr says: Mar 1, 2015 8:51 PM

    All 53 players count against the salary cap. Not 51 or 48 as some think.

  31. jstyle211 says: Mar 1, 2015 11:27 PM

    I always thought rosters should go up at least to 56 players. The rule they need to pass is to Increase the number of GameDay dressing players each team can have. Why not give them 50 players dress for every game?

  32. ebdug says: Mar 1, 2015 11:33 PM

    Cool! Now coaches can get that backup deep snapper they’ve always wanted.

  33. ravenbiker says: Mar 2, 2015 1:06 PM

    I think people get confused by the training camp/preseason rules on roster vs cap. Once the regular season starts, everyone counts against the cap.
    That being said, I think if they count against the cap, they should be available for game day unless we’re talking a PUP or Injured reserve person, so the entire roster should be allowed to dress on game day.

  34. swagger52 says: Mar 2, 2015 10:00 PM

    The Patriots only get to add 1 more to their roster. They have to count their their ball boy as 1 slot, since he played a big role in many wins over the last 8 years.

  35. swagger52 says: Mar 2, 2015 10:03 PM

    Just imagine if the Browns had another 2 roster positions. They would likely just add another 2 worthless names to their sad patchwork QB quilt.

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