One of the toughest days for NFL franchises is nigh. This Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, teams will have to submit their 53-man active rosters for the 2013 NFL season. Teams began training camp with 90-man active rosters. That number dropped to 75 with the first round of cuts this past Tuesday.
To pare rosters down, teams can release players, waive players, or place players on the physically unable to perform list or injured reserve. Players on the either of the injury lists will not count against the 53-man roster. Team can have no more than 90 players among the active roster, injury lists and the eight-man practice squad, however. That means that, assuming teams make full use of their roster and practice squad space, they can have no more than 29 players on the PUP list or IR.
Players who are injured and are likely to be placed on the PUP list or IR heading into the regular season are often waived. Players who clear waivers and rejoin their former teams on an injury list do not count against the 90-player limit. Of course, teams risk losing players to rival teams in the process. See: Jake Ballard.
The waiver process gives each team in the NFL a chance to claim a waived player before his rights are returned back to the team that waived him. Waiver order is determined based off the results of the 2012 season. This year, that means the Kansas City Chiefs will have first choice and the Baltimore Ravens will have last choice.
The practice squad can only consist of players who appeared on the active roster for no more than one season and for no more than nine games. The eight players selected for the squad are allowed to practice with the active roster, and generally consists of young players that teams want to develop.
There will be a flurry of action in the NFL as dozens players hit waivers and free agency. Expect signings to come quickly and furiously.
Got all that? Good. Now take a look at the latest news from SB Nation to see who has been let go so far.