Teams have two options for cutting to 80 players

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Despite a desire by plenty of players to keep the rosters at 90 until Labor Day weekend, the NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to reduce capacity to 80. The teams have two options for getting there.

According to a memo distributed on Friday to all teams (the memo, as best we can tell, was first reported by Brandon Krisztal of KOA in Denver), teams can either cut to 80 before July 28, or they can wait until August 16.

Teams that wait to reduce to 80 must utilize split-squad procedures, with one group mainly consisting of rookies, first-year players, and any quarterbacks or injured players assigned to that group. (Designations, once made, can’t be changed.) The second group will consist of all veteran players who report on July 28.

A team that chooses the split-squad approach can reduce to 80 at any time before August 16, and then merge into one unit.

So, basically, it’s up to the team whether to carry 90, with the understanding that having 90 on the roster will result in a split squad. By August 16 — the day before padded practices start — all teams will be down to 80.

4 responses to “Teams have two options for cutting to 80 players

  1. Seems like a bad setup. Would’ve been smarter to force all teams to use a split squad approach til august 16th whether the teams kept 80 or 90.

  2. Unless a team knows for certain at the outset the 80 players they intend to keep, I don’t see why a team would not elect the split squad option. That way they at least would get to take a look at players that might be able to be on the final 80 and also provide more time for some people to decide to opt out.

  3. It sounds like the split-squad option is detrimental to those veterans who clamored for an 80-man roster in hopes of saving their jobs. I can’t imagine any team not taking the split-squad option so they can evaluate some of these guys and hopefully find a player or two that wouldn’t ordinarily be considered an NFL player (like Adam Thielen). Seems like a no-brainer.

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