With the NFL preseason coming to a close tonight I just wanted to quickly go over the schedule over the next few days, how we will approach them, and some changes you will see to our salary cap tables over that time.
By Saturday September 1 all NFL teams must bring their active roster down to 53 players. Currently teams are allowed to carry 90 players so sadly that means about 1,200 players will be losing their job over the next two days. Obviously that is a large workload to process here as well so please stick with us as we go team by team through the cuts. Because reports of releases are often incorrect, especially as it relates to injured reserve status, I’ll be holding off on most transactions (big name moves are always accurately reported) until they are on the official NFL transaction wire. Many of these players will have small amounts of dead money that we don’t show on the site so that also is a pretty significant piece of work to do this weekend so if we are behind of player transactions this is why.
At the same time teams will have to make a decision on reserve list status for players. For players moved to the reserve PUP/NFI lists they will have to sit a minimum of 6 games. IR will be a similar situation with players moved to IR after the cutdown being eligible for return later this season (each team can have two players). Many of these status’ will also have cap changes associated with them.
All of the suspended players will officially be moved to the suspension list. At that point in time the players will see their salaries reduced to reflect the weeks of the suspension.
Each of these reserve lists will be visible on the right side of the team salary cap tables if anyone would like to track the players.
On September 2nd the NFL will process all waiver claims at noon and then at 1PM every team can establish a 10 man practice squad. Again we will process these after they become official but expect some delay in getting everyone done just because of the volume of transactions. Id imagine sometime after these cuts Nick will have a compensatory pick update if any notable offseason signings don’t make the final roster.
Currently we are counting the salary cap charges for players who did not report to training camp such as Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack. If no long term contract is reached by Monday we will likely move them to a reserve list and change the cap hit accordingly.
On Thursday September 6 the NFL officially changes accounting rules for the season. During the preseason only the top 51 players have their base salaries count on the salary cap. On the 6th all 53 players will count on the cap. Also counting on the cap will be all players on injured reserve, PUP, NFI, and the suspended list. Practice Squad contracts will count. So if a team’s cap space looks like it unexpectedly reduced by $2-3 million it is because of the accounting changes.
Odds are we will switch the accounting at OTC once we get most of the initial round of cuts processed rather than waiting until the official start.
Please also remember that this past week was extremely busy with contract modifications and extensions. It will take us time to get all of these details so we may be behind processing some of these. If a team looks to be over the cap after Sept 6th that is the most likely reason why.
On a final note our collection of dead money also will include any money earned by players who are cut during the course of the season. So if anyone just wants to get a feel for the initial dead money Id suggest to make a copy of the table early this week.
So please be patient over the next few days and if you see any players we missed or have any contract details that we don’t have please email me so we can update it ASAP.
As always thanks for reading and using OTC for your NFL needs.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.