September 06, 2015 - Greg Gabriel
What Comes Next with Roster Moves?
Looking back at some of the NFL roster moves made in the last two days, I can’t say there were many surprises. Every year there are some cuts that make national headlines, but I think that if you looked back over the years, a very high percentage of the players cut deserved to be cut. At least for this year the Tim Tebow experiment can be put to rest. Keep in mind that clubs are not finished with finalizing their roster. Today at noon eastern time, clubs will find out if any of the players they waived were claimed by other clubs. If some of those players had practice squad eligibility and the club wanted to place those players on the practice squad, they will have to look elsewhere for another player. Also at noon, clubs will find out if they were awarded any of the players they may have claimed. When that happens, a player who yesterday thought he made the 53-man roster ends up getting cut. At 1:00 PM EDT clubs can begin signing players to their practice roster. This process is usually easy with teams selecting guys they had in camp, but when they try to sign a player who was cut by another club, the new club has to convince both the player and his agent that a change in scenery might be better for the player. An interesting thing that never gets talked about with the waiver claiming process is that some clubs often put in claims on more than one player at a certain position. When doing that they prioritize which player they would want first, second, or third etc. This usually happens when the club putting in a claim is somewhere in the middle or late in the pack when it comes to claims. Until a few games are played this season, waiver claims are based off of the prior year's win – loss record. The order is very similar to the draft order of last May’s draft. Knowing this, a club that may sit 15th or 20th in the claiming order may put in a claim on three different wide receivers. They prioritize which of the receivers they would want, first second or third. If the first receiver goes unclaimed by any clubs above them in the order, then that player is theirs and the other two players they had priority claims on are automatically dropped. This will happen multiple times today around the league. On Tuesday, some players with injuries can be placed on Injured Reserved/Designated for Return. Once that happens, a player needs to be signed to replace the player going on injured reserve. After next week’s opening games, we will see many vested veterans signed by clubs because the signing club no longer has to guarantee that players salary for the season. It becomes a game by game salary. You will see that many veteran players who were cut yesterday back on rosters in another week. Some veterans may have already verbally agreed to do that with the teams that cut them. It’s all part of the process. The other thing we will see shortly, is clubs will start bringing in players for workouts. This usually happens on Tuesdays with most clubs. What the clubs are doing, is preparing their short list of players on the street who are available to sign in case of an injury to one of their current players. The clubs who do the best job preparing for injuries can survive if they start losing key players. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe