Today isn't really the Final Cut Down Day

All 32 NFL clubs must be down to the required 53-man roster by this afternoon. While some borderline players will be happy if they don’t get a call from the “Turk”, they still can’t rest easy. There will be more roster changes over the next two weeks than at any other time of the NFL season. This time of the year rosters are very fluid. Some clubs will make waiver acquisitions and if awarded a player they have to make room for him by cutting someone on the 53. Clubs will also sign some of the street free agents who cleared waivers either earlier this week or from the cuts made earlier in the week. Clubs always play little games with veteran players this time of the year. If a vested veteran (someone with four or more accrued seasons) is on the active roster for the first game of the season, his salary is guaranteed for the season. That remains true even if he gets cut two or three weeks in to the season. To avoid having to pay a vested veteran a full year’s salary, clubs will often wait until after the first game has been completed before signing that type of player. That way the club is only paying the player on a week-to-week basis. For salary cap strapped clubs this can be a very beneficial way of doing business. Practice Squads Up until the 2014 season, clubs could only sign 8 players to their practice squad. Starting last year the size of the practice squad has been raised to a maximum of 10 players, with two of those players being players who have earned no more than two credited seasons towards free agency. Another rule change last year is that a player must be on a practice squad a total of six weeks in order to use one of his “eligible” years to be on the practice squad. The old rule was a player with three weeks on a practice squad used up one of his eligible years. These changes are huge, in that they open the practice squad to many more players. Also, a club could have a situation where a young player who they were figuring on making the 53-man roster, missed a lot of practice time because of a minor injury. This could be a player who had made the club previously, as for example, a rookie. Because he missed so much practice time, he was not properly evaluated. That player can now be on the practice squad, where before he was wasn’t eligible. These rule changes give the clubs much more flexibility when it comes to finalizing the 53-man roster. In essence it really increases the roster size, without it affecting the 53. A practice squad player makes a minimum salary of $6,600.00 per week, up from $6,300.00 in 2014. That figure is not etched in stone and can be negotiated. There are some practice squad players who make the rookie minimum salary. In 2015, the rookie minimum is $435,000 which means that if you pay a practice squad player the rookie minimum he is getting more than $25,000.00 per week. That is a heck of a salary for someone who only has to practice four days a week. Still, it gives him the opportunity to develop his skills and if the situation arises, get elevated to the 53-man roster. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

Upcoming Games

Sep 20th, 8:15 PM

Detroit +7 -111

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Sep 23rd, 8:20 PM

Carolina -4.5 -110

Houston +4.5 -110

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis +3 -115

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

LA Chargers +7.5 -107

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Washington +7 -102

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Chicago +8.5 -107

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Atlanta +2.5 -107

NY Giants -2.5 -107

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +6.5 -107

Pittsburgh -6.5 -107

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Baltimore -7.5 -110

Detroit +7.5 -110

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans +3 -110

New England -3 -110

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Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -6 -110

Jacksonville +6 -110

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Sep 26th, 4:05 PM

Miami +1 -107

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Sep 26th, 4:05 PM

NY Jets +7.5 -107

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Sep 26th, 4:25 PM

Tampa Bay +2.5 -110

LA Rams -2.5 -110

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Sep 26th, 4:25 PM

Seattle -2.5 -107

Minnesota +2.5 -107

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Sep 26th, 8:20 PM

Green Bay +3 -107

San Francisco -3 -107

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Sep 27th, 8:15 PM

Philadelphia +3.5 -110

Dallas -3.5 -110

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