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    NFL Training Camp Cuts: When Is the 53-Man Roster Cutdown Deadline?

    When is the NFL's 53-man roster cut deadline, and how have the rules around the deadline changed in recent years? Here's everything you need to know.

    While many NFL teams have a good sense of who they will release before training camp and the preseason, clubs often use the summer to make small roster changes.

    After entering training camp with 90 players, every team must trim their roster to 53 players by the NFL’s roster cutdown deadline.

    When is the NFL’s roster cut deadline in 2024, and what happens to the players who get released? Here’s everything you need to know.

    When Is the NFL’s 53-Man Roster Cut Deadline?

    For the 2024 season, the NFL’s 53-man roster cutdown deadline is Aug. 27 by 4 p.m. ET. Every franchise must reduce its roster from 90 players — the maximum allowed during the summer — to 53 by this deadline.

    Teams are free to cut players throughout training camp and the preseason if they choose. Some clubs part ways with players early, while others wait until the final hours before the deadline. Regardless, every squad has to meet the NFL’s roster requirement by Aug. 27.

    Starting last year, NFL owners approved a measure enacting a single roster cutdown deadline instead of multiple dates, which the league used in previous years.

    For many years, the league deployed the following schedule:

    • First cutdown deadline: rosters reduced from 90 to 85 players
    • Second cutdown deadline: rosters reduced from 85 to 80 players
    • Third cutdown deadline: rosters reduced from 80 to 53 players

    Now, there’s only one roster cutdown deadline, meaning a ton of players will hit the free agent pool at the same time.

    How Are Players Removed From 53-Man Rosters?

    The most common way for players to be removed from rosters is by being cut. A veteran player with at least four years of NFL service time is “released,” while a player who has not become a vested veteran is “waived” and sent to the NFL’s waiver system.

    Players can also be placed on various injured lists. Players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) or non-football injury (NFI) lists do not count toward the 53-man limit. Those injured players are required to miss the first four games of the season.

    NFL clubs can also stick injured players on injured reserve (IR). Like players on the PUP and NFI lists, players on IR must miss at least four games to begin the year.

    However, a player must be carried over to a team’s initial 53-man roster before being placed on IR. If a player is sent to IR without first making a 53-man roster, he is not eligible to be activated later in the season.

    Additionally, players who are serving suspensions at the start of the year do not count against 53-man rosters.

    What Happens to Players Who Are Cut?

    Veterans with at least four accrued seasons are free to immediately sign with another team once they get cut at the roster deadline. There is no waiting period.

    Those with fewer than four seasons of experience are placed on waivers, and the other 31 NFL teams will have the opportunity to place a claim.

    The NFL’s waiver order is in reverse order of the previous season’s final standings.

    MORE: Do NFL Players Get Paid During Training Camp and the Preseason?

    If a player passes through the waiver system without being claimed, he will become a free agent and can sign with another club.

    The majority of players placed on waivers are not claimed. Many of those players will be signed to practice squads after waivers are processed.

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