The NFL Annual League meeting has been taking place on Phoenix, Arizona. Tuesday was the day that owners voted on rule changes, bylaws, and resolutions that were proposed by NFL clubs. We will summarize the rule changes and bylaws in another post, but the most buzzworthy of changes for the upcoming season involves a change to the way training camp roster cuts are done:
The NFL has approved having just one roster cutdown, meaning teams will trim rosters from 90 to 53 after the final preseason game.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 28, 2023
The date this year: Tuesday, August 29.
It feels like we've been trending toward this change for awhile. Rosters used to have two cutdowns before final roster cuts were due. Last year, rosters only had to be trimmed down to 85 players, and then later 80 players, before the final roster would be named after the last preseason game. Now, there won't be any cuts required until after that final game: rosters can go from 90 players to 53 players in a flash. Teams can also stick to their own schedule if they choose to; for example, they can shed the rosters down a little bit prior to final cuts being due.
It's tough to say whether there are pros or cons to the change. On one hand, one could think that it gives back-end players on the roster a better chance to show off in that final preseason game. On the flip side, by not cutting a player early, some people lose that chance to catch on in camp with another team.
Teams were heavily in support of the change, though, including the Cleveland Browns. There were 25 teams listed as having proposed the resolution, with the Browns being one of them. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh were not part of the teams who initiated the proposal.
Two other resolutions were adopted: one to have the postseason follow the same roster transaction deadlines as the regular season, and another to provide greater clarity of a player's injury status. The latter one specifically mentioned sports betting and situations where players on the "designated to return list" and are practicing. Previously, those players were not listed on weekly injury reports if they weren't yet activated. Now, they'll have to be.