What is the NFL 53 Man Roster?
In the NFL, each team is allowed 53 active players. After the pre-season is complete, there is a deadline for each team to decide on their official 53 man roster and all those that don’t make the team are then eligible for waivers to play for another team.
The ‘waiver’ period only lasts a short period of time and if a player who did not make his team’s 53 man roster is requested by another team, he can be added to the new team’s 53 man roster and is ‘waived’ from his obligations to his existing team.
If he does not get picked up in the waiver period, then he can get picked up for a practice squad. Don’t worry, practice squad players still get paid! They also continue to grow and develop and have a chance to get pulled up later (in a way, kind of like the minor leagues in baseball).
For a point of reference – about 700 players are ‘let go’ in a given year and about 80% of those drafted in that year will make a team. That’s not too shabby.