League unexpectedly expands rosters from 80 to 90

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Last month, the NFL’s owners tabled until May a variety of proposed changes, including the expansion of the offseason rosters from 80 to 90 players per team.

On Monday, out of the blue, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello announced on Twitter that, as of 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the roster limit officially will be expanded.

It means that another 320 players will get a chance to win a job on the 53-man roster via their efforts during a truncated offseason program and a less intense training camp.  (It also means that another 320 players will have the chance to say “no, thanks” to an invitation to play pro football — and none will.)

It’s unclear how the change was made apart from the confines of an ownership meeting.  It’s possible that a vote was taken electronically or by phone, or that some other approval process was used, given that the change technically will be made to a bylaw, not a formal rule.

As explained by Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay last month, the increase from 80 to 90 will result in a decrease from 90 to 80 players after the third preseason game and a drop from 80 to 53 after the final preseason game, which will flood the market with 864 players less than a week before the first game of the season.

48 responses to “League unexpectedly expands rosters from 80 to 90

  1. Not inexplicable at all. More signings means more reports which means more buzz…

  2. In related news, sports agents around the country have begun calling all the potential rookie free agents they’ve been ignoring for months.

  3. Wonder whether rosters were expanded from 80 to 90 before or after the Packers waived Cliffie?!

  4. What they really need to do is expand the active roster. Now that a slight head ding will get you benched for the remainder of the game or games, 53 is just not enough cannon fodder.

  5. What is the point of this if the active roster is going to stay the same size? Preseason games will now be even more unbearably bad.

  6. I do believe draft picks immediately count towards the 90 man roster even if they aren’t signed yet?

  7. So the league wants to limit injuries by making more & more hits illegal and by illiminating kickoffs, but they are fine with bringing more tackling dummies…oops…I mean players whose chances of making the team are very small?

    Yeah..makes sense…

  8. You seem to have forgotten about the guy who refused the Jets free agent offer to become a train conductor.

  9. The more I read about how this whole player personell situation is working out the more I realize that the players got jobbed by the owners. Great job Demo. Now vested vets will have to sweat out another 10 guys showing up to take their job for a fraction of the money with no expansion of active roster. Next the owners will shrink the active roster to 43 and then expand the season to 18 games. Unions are a double edged sword. Ouch!!!!!

  10. Regular season rosters should have 58 active players on game day imo. 65 players on the roster with 7 inactive.

  11. This expansion excludes the Redskins and the Cowboys, because it would be seen as a competitive advantage for just these two teams.

  12. knowerofallthings says:Apr 23, 2012 7:06 PM

    It’s the first step towards the 18 game season


    Why don’t they start the season in October or better yet November and keep it 16 games this way when football season is over, so it winter.

  13. In other totally separate moves *wink the Skins, Cowboys and Eagles have been docked a further 30 million in cap space until 2050.

    In a statement Giants owner John Mara said, “The Skins, Cowboys and Eagles were found guilty of various things including but not limited to competing with the Gmen, beating the Gmen and generally trying to steal the NFC East title from the Gmen.

    The NFLPA totally supported this claim and then roster expansion had nothing to do with the other deal.”

  14. Sounds like a great way to completely kill that other league that decided that they should play at the same time as the NFL.

  15. How’s this:

    Expand the active rosters until the halfway point in the regular season, then mandate roster trims for the playoffs. That will allow teams to survive the injuries somewhat better, or at least try to calculate a player’s availability, i.e. if they’re hurt, keep them on the roster and avoid IR if an injury is not really a treat to a whole season.

    Then a player who gets hurt early might be able to make it back for the later part of the season.

    Would Cutler and the Bears have benefited by this concept last year? Or the stud RB for Kansas City (don’t recall the name) or dozens of others lost for the season and shunted to IR only to bring up a practice squad player that will have literally no chance to contribute?

    Did KC and Chicago lose money because their hurt studs couldn’t come back? I’ll bet they did.
    This concept might also cut down on the end of the year “suck for the #1 draft pick” motivation, which turns off fans and again loses money.

    Keep more horses in the game but do it with purpose and thought toward money and fan enjoyment.

  16. Once I saw the ‘minimum spending threshold’, with each team having to spend 93 pct of the cap, I knew this was coming. Give them more union dues, stretch out and water down the same cap number. Typical.

  17. That’s another 320 players that will sue the NFL when they are done playing saying they were not aware of the risks from concussions.
    Pay me now AND pay me later….

  18. How about a 48 game schedule and an 18 man roster? Even my Browns would have a chance then!

  19. Now they just need to change the rule about how many players can be active on gameday.

    53 make the team 53 are active for gameday.
    Minimize injuries!!!!!

    The NFL needs to have a disable list (DL).
    The DL should be something like this:
    Injured Reserve
    and have to be cleared by doctors of course.

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