The Vikings have reduced their 75-man roster to the NFL-mandated limit of 53. So it’s time to start playing games, right? Hold on a minute. While all NFL teams have declared their 53-man rosters, there is still plenty of roster shuffling to be done.
Will the Vikings be one of the teams to do a bunch of shuffling? Only time will tell. If the Vikings choose to go that route, though, they will be in good position to find discarded talent. By virtue of their 3-13 finish last season, the Vikings have third position in the NFL’s waiver process through three weeks of the regular season.
What does this mean? Remember that players who have three or fewer pension-credited seasons are subject until the trading deadline to the waiver system if they are released from their contracts. The waiver system allows teams to submit a claim on a player if he is released. For example, a player such as RB Jordan Todman will not hit the street as a free agent quite yet. He will go through the waiver process now that he’s been released by the Vikings, which means all other NFL teams have a specific amount of time to place a claim on Todman before he becomes a free agent. If no one claims Todman, he then becomes an unrestricted free agent. Multiple teams can submit a claim on one player, but there is a pecking order based on last year’s record.
The Vikings are third, so they will have a good look at every player who is released from their contract today as teams get down to the 53-man limit.
A few other notes to keep in mind…
– Just because a team released a player today does not mean they will not keep that player eventually. Using Todman as an example again, the Vikings can place Todman on their practice squad once the RB passes waivers. Teams are permitted to keep up to 8 players on their practice squad.
– Teams are permitted to make trades at this time, so don’t be surprised to see teams swap assets at this point as they try to round out their regular season rosters.
– One last note: Fans will surely notice a lot of veteran free agents on the street. Keep in mind that many of those veterans may not find work until after Week 1 of the regular season. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement guarantees veteran contracts if that veteran is on the Week 1 roster.
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