2022 NFL roster cuts: Practice squad, waiver wire rules, deadlines explained

NFL teams, including the New York Giants, can be awarded waiver claims beginning Wednesday afternoon. They can also begin building practice squads. There is always some confusion over the rules for how all of that works. So, let’s see if we can clear some of that up.

Waiver wire rules

Teams have until noon ET on Wednesday to file a claim for any player released in the roster cuts from 80 to 53 players. The Giants are No. 5 in the waiver claim order, which matches where they were positioned in the 2022 NFL Draft. That means if the Giants claim a player they will be awarded that player provided the Jaguars, Lions, Texans and Jets do not also claim that player.

Players with less than four augmented NFL seasons are subject to waivers. Those with more than four augmented seasons are considered to be released and can sign with any team immediately. Players subject to waivers do not become free agents unless they go unclaimed in the waiver process.

An increased season requires a player to have full-play status for at least six regular-season games in a given season. That is why quarterback Davis Webb, in the league since 2017, is still subject to the waiver process. While he has been in the league, he has not been on the active roster enough to accumulate four augmented seasons.

Practice squad rules

How many players? NFL practice squads currently consist of 16 players.

Who is eligible? Here are the current eligibility rules:

  • Players who do not have an increased season of NFL experience.
  • Free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine games in their only augmented season.
  • A maximum of 10 free agent players who have earned no more than two augmented seasons.
  • A maximum of six free agent players with no limitations to their number of earned augmented seasons.

When can teams start building practice squads? Once the waiver claim period ends, teams can begin to sign players to their practice squads. This year, that means after noon on Wednesday.

How much do practice squad players make? Players with two augmented seasons or less will earn $11,500 for each week they are on a practice squad. Players with more than two augmented seasons will earn at least $15,400 per week with a maximum of $19,900.

injured reserve

In order to be allowed to return during the season injured players must first be placed on a team’s 53-man regular season roster. Beginning at 4 pm ET on Wednesday teams can place those players on the Injured Reserve or Reserve/Non-Football Injury lists. Players placed on those lists at or after that time have to miss at least four regular season games.

The Giants have several players who might end up on IR for the first few weeks of the season. Those include guard Shane Lemieux, edge defender Elerson Smith and cornerback Rodarius Williams.

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