2022 NFL Waiver Wire: Order, Rules, Claim System, and More

All 32 NFL franchises have officially submitted their 53-man rosters for the season. Now the waiver wire becomes an important part of the process.

The NFL waiver wire order is back in the spotlight, with QB Baker Mayfield set to be released by the Carolina Panthers. Mayfield will not simply be able to sign with whichever team he desires until he has passed through the waiver system. Here is how that system works, the current order, and more frequently asked questions.

2022 NFL Waiver Wire Order

From the end of Week 3 onwards, the NFL waiver order is determined based on the current standings. Here is the current waiver wire order as of Monday, December 5 at 11:45 p.m. ET.

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Chicago Bears
  3. Los Angeles Rams
  4. Denver Broncos
  5. New Orleans Saints
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars
  7. Carolina Panthers
  8. Arizona Cardinals
  9. Indianapolis Colts
  10. Green Bay Packers
  11. Atlanta Falcons
  12. Pittsburgh Steelers
  13. Cleveland Browns
  14. Las Vegas Raiders
  15. Detroit Lions
  16. Los Angeles Chargers
  17. New England Patriots
  18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  19. Washington Commanders
  20. Seattle Seahawks
  21. New York Jets
  22. Tennessee Titans
  23. New York Giants
  24. Miami Dolphins
  25. Cincinnati Bengals
  26. Baltimore Ravens
  27. San Francisco 49ers
  28. Dallas Cowboys
  29. Kansas City Chiefs
  30. Buffalo Bills
  31. Minnesota Vikings
  32. Philadelphia Eagles

How Does the NFL Waiver Wire Work?

The waiver wire can be a tad complicated. The first point to note is that not all cuts are the same. The NFL differentiates waiver wire eligibility between vested veterans and less experienced players. A vested veteran is a player who has accrued four or more seasons.

The NFL defines an accrued season as six or more games on either a team’s 53-man roster, on injured reserve, or on the physically unable-to-perform list. If a player is categorized as a “veteran,” they skip the waiver process and become unrestricted free agents. However, after the trade deadline passes on November 2, vested veterans will have to go through waivers if released.

If a player is claimed on the waiver wire, the team selecting them must have an open spot on their 53-man roster. If the spot does not already exist before the claim is accepted, teams usually have about an hour to create a spot once they have received the league’s personnel notice that the player has been claimed. This can be done by either releasing another player or using the practice squad or IR.

If a player is not claimed on the waiver wire, they become unrestricted free agents. One interesting point to note is that there is no limit on how many players you can make a claim for. However, a team needs to have space on their active roster for the player they are claiming. Additionally, the waiver wire order does not reset once a claim is made.


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