Not everyone is eligible for an NFL practice squad. It's the sad reality for some players cut this weekend that there is no alternative other than making an active roster.
Once a player has played in six NFL games, he is no longer eligible for the practice squad. That means a handful of veterans are out of work after this weekend's cuts.
Here are a few of the big names that slipped through waivers:
Tim Tebow, Quarterback
It's a shocker, I know, but Tim Tebow finds himself on the open market yet again. The former Broncos, Jets, and now Patriots quarterback may be on the last legs of his NFL career after a lackluster preseason that left many wondering if he has an NFL future. He cleared waivers after being cut by the Patriots.
Zoltan Mesko, Punter
The Patriots released punter Zoltan Mesko over the weekend in favor of a younger alternative. And so it goes for NFL veterans. Mesko passed through waivers despite a long run of success in New England, which just goes to show that even on special teams, the NFL is becoming a young man's game.
Mike Kafka, Quarterback
For a few weeks, Mike Kafka looked like he had a real shot of cracking the Jaguars' 53-man roster. With Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne as his only real competition, Kafka still was unable to impress enough to be worth rostering. In fact, the Jaguars claimed Ricky Stanzi when he was cut by the Chiefs and kept him over Kafka, which says a lot about the former Northwestern quarterback's future in the NFL.
Roc Carmichael, Cornerback
A fourth-round pick in 2011, Houston Texans cornerback Roc Carmichael was cut over the weekend and passed through waivers unclaimed, making him a free agent. Carmichael doesn't have practice squad eligibility after playing in six games in 2012. He couldn't find his place in a deep Houston secondary and is now out of work.
Danny Watkins, Offensive Lineman
The Eagles drafted Danny Watkins in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, so it was a surprise to see him cut over the weekend. It was an even bigger surprised that he passed through waivers as well, which was first reported by Jeff McLane. Watkins never found his calling in the NFL after playing multiple positions at Baylor.
David Carr, Quarterback
After being the No. 1 overall pick and first selection ever by the Houston Texans, Carr has washed out with his fourth team with the New York Giants bidding him farewell. Carr threw for 14.452 yards in 10 NFL seasons, half of them spent with Houston. Now, he's once again looking to catch on as a backup.
Max Starks, Offensive Lineman
Starks was cut by the San Diego Chargers, which isn't a good sign considering how desperate they are for linemen. Once a stalwart for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Starks is 31 years old and trying to become a valuable swing tackle as his career progresses.
Jonathan Dwyer had to have known he would be on the hot seat when the Steelers drafted Le'Veon Bell in the second-round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Even though Bell got injured during the preseason, Dwyer still didn't make the roster, and no NFL team claimed him on waivers, either, according to Jason La Canfora. The plodding running back will likely be out of work until an injury opens up a need for a team.