The 2013 NFL season really is getting close. We are heading into the third week of preseason games, starting tonight with the New England Patriots at Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens. When this weekend's slate of games ends, the next major item on the NFL calendar will be the first of two mandatory roster cuts.
Those first cuts must happen by 4pm Tuesday, August 27. That will take all 32 teams from 90 players to 75. That will mean around 480 players will hit waiver wires or free agency starting Tuesday afternoon.
Teams will then play the final set of preseason games before trimming another 22 players from the roster, going from 75 players to 53. Those cuts will have to be made by August 31 at 6pm ET. Those cuts will release over 700 players across the NFL.
Players that are not claimed off waivers will then be allowed to sign with a team's practice squad. Each practice squad may have up to eight players on it, and players are eligible for the practice squad if they have not accrued a season of free agency credit, or have no been on the active gameday roster for a team for more than nine regular season games. A player may only spend three seasons on a practice squad.
For hundreds of players around the league, this weekend's game could be their last to make an impression on a coaching staff, either the one for whom they are playing or another team who could sign them after roster cuts are completed.
The Miami Dolphins play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night.
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