clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Roster Cuts 2015: Deadline, rules, waiver wire, practice squad, and more

The NFL's 75-man roster limit changes to the regular season 53-man roster limit today. We put everything you need to know about the NFL cuts deadline in one place.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have not officially announced any of their moves in the final round of roster cuts yet, but some of the releases have already been reported. By the end of today, the Dolphins will have to reduce their roster from the 75-man roster they used during Thursday's final Preseason game to the 53-man roster they will be allowed to carry into the regular season.

The Phinsider has been covering all of the cuts (you can follow our coverage in this StoryStream). Here is some of the basic information about today's NFL roster cut deadline:

When is the cut deadline?

All 32 NFL teams are required to be at the 53-man limit by today, Saturday, Sept. 5, at 4pm ET.

Will that Dolphins roster be the one we see next week against the Washington Redskins?

Yes, and no. The Dolphins will be free to continue to update the roster, just as they will throughout the year. The cuts deadline sets the size of the roster, but does not prevent a team from making changes to the roster, as long as they do not exceed 53 players. Teams will be busy after the cuts deadline claiming players off waivers and signing free agents. A player could make the Dolphins' 53-man roster today, only to be cut tomorrow.

What is the NFL waiver wire and how does it work?

Waivers are used when a player with less than four years of accrued service (6 or more regular-season games in one season in which a player is on the 53-man protected roster, IR list or PUP list) is released by a team. Those players are then eligible to be "claimed," based on the NFL's waiver wire priority. Basically, the waiver priority is based on the records of the teams, with the worst team getting first priority. Early in the season, it is based on the previous year's final standings. During the season, it is updated for the results of the current year.

In other words, if a player is waived, all 31 other teams can make a waiver claim. If the lowest ranked team in priority does not claim him, the next lowest team with a claim entered would be awarded the player and his current contract. If no team claims the player, he "clears" waivers and becomes a free agent. He is then free to sign with any team, or sign to a practce squad.

A player who is waived and claimed by a new team would again go through the waiver wire process if the new team releases him.

What about the practice squad?

We will add a practice squad primer later, but for now, know that the will be allowed sign up to 10 players to a practice squad, which is in addition to the 53-man roster. These 10 players are typically young NFL players with little experience. In order to get to the practice squad, a player must clear waivers. After he clears waivers, he becomes a free agent, and then can sign with the practice squad.

Practice squads can begin being created at 12pm Sunday.

Where can I find full coverage of the Dolphins' cuts?

Keep checking back here on The Phinsider. This StoryStream will consolidate all the stories about the cuts in one place.