When are NFL roster cuts 2022? Deadline date, rules, practice squad salary & more to know

The NFL roster rules are confusing. NFI, IR, PUP, ABC, 123? Not quite.

The 2022 NFL season is imminent, and as teams play preseason games to sort out their rosters, coaches across the league will look long and hard to determine the best roster backend to build.

While most teams have their 53-man rosters drafted, the 37 men who will cut the waiver wires from the 90-man rosters that currently make up all 32 NFL rosters have yet to be sorted out. With three separate days of editing leading up to the final game of preseason, there’s plenty of room for surprise edits, veteran additions, and more.

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Here’s everything you need to know about roster reduction days, roster practice rules, and more:

When are NFL roster cuts 2022?

Deadline for the 53-man squad

  • Date: Tuesday, August 30th
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET

By Tuesday, August 30, every NFL team must reduce its roster to no more than 53 players. During the preseason, teams can accommodate up to 90 players and must reduce to the 53 players they will carry during the regular season in three separate phases.

In addition to the 53-man roster, the focus will be on NFL practice teams after that point. Teams are allowed to have 16 players (within certain qualifications) on their practice team (more on practice teams below).

In addition to Main Cut Day, there are two other deadlines that NFL teams will trim their rosters on in the coming weeks.

Deadline for the 85-man squad

  • Date: Tuesday 16 August
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET

Deadline for the 80-man squad

  • Date: Tuesday 23 August
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET

NFL Roster Cut Rules

Every NFL team must cut its roster from 80 to 53 by Tuesday, August 30. As with most NFL teams, cuts leading up to Deadline may not be made all at once because changes are made in the days leading up to 4 p.m. and the week ahead

The NFL sets the rules for Cutdown Day as follows:

Clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the active/inactive list before 4:00 pm New York time.

At the same time as the squad is reduced to 53 players, clubs with players in the ‘active/physically disabled’ or ‘active/non-football injury or illness’ categories must choose one of the following options: place players on reserve/physically disabled or reserve/not -Football injury or illness, whichever is applicable; terminate or seek waivers with designation of a failed physical or non-football injury or illness, as applicable; request waivers; Terminate the contract; commercial contract; or continue counting the player on the active list.

Players who are on the Reserve List or Exception List and do not count towards the 90-player limit will begin counting towards the 90-player limit.

Players on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) or Non-Football Injury (NFI) lists do not count toward the 90- or 53-man roster during the offseason or regular season. Once a player has been activated from a roster, space must be made on the 53-man roster.

If a player remains on the PUP list, they cannot return until after the team’s sixth regular season game. Players placed on injured reserve (IR) prior to Final Cut Day cannot return during the season.

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NFL Practice Squad Rules

In 2022, teams are allowed to have 16 players on the practice team. Of the 16 players, 10 must not have served more than two NFL seasons, while the remaining six players have no restrictions (veterans).

Players who are on the practice team cannot be included on the active/game day list more than three times during the regular season. In the event that a player becomes active a fourth time on matchday, he must be included in the 53-man squad from the training squad.

Training squad qualifications are as follows:

  • players who have no NFL season experience (rookies);
  • Players who have been on the active roster for fewer than nine regular season games during their only accumulated season(s);
  • Up to four players per team who have earned no more than two accumulated seasons (no game restrictions);
  • Up to six players per team with no limit on the number of seasons earned.

Players who are on one team’s training team may not enter into a contract with another team’s training team. Instead, the signing team must sign the player for a 53-man roster spot. These players can sign with another team at any time during the season.

Up to four players can be protected on the league’s practice team each week; Other teams may not sign players from the protected practice team.

NFL Practice Squad Salaries

There are two salary scales that the NFL uses to determine practice team salaries.

Players who have served two or fewer seasons in the NFL use the following pay scale, which is paid on a fixed, weekly basis and increases annually until the current CBA expires.

Year weekly salary
2022 $11,500
2023 $12,000
2024 $12,500
2025 $13,000
2026 $13,750
2027 $14,500
2028 $15,250
2029 $16,000
2030 $16,750

NFL veterans have slightly more bargaining power when it comes to practice team pay, and within a pay window they negotiate as follows:

Year minimum wage Maximum salary
2022 $15,400 $19,900
2023 $16,100 $20,600
2024 $16,800 $21,300
2025 $17,500 $22,000
2026 $18,350 $22,850
2027 $19,200 $23,700
2028 $20,900 $25,400
2029 $20,900 $25,400
2030 $21,750 $26,250

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