View Full Version : NFL waiver procedures: How it all works

09-04-2006, 12:38 AM
Mods: With all the confusion about how the NFL's waiver system works, can we sticky this (or sticky it in the future) when the "waiver wire" talks heat up on this board? I searched for hours and hours to find this, and I was amazed at how obscure the waiver wire procedures have been. You'd think there would be an NFL site out there to describe the ins-and-outs of the waiver system, but I have yet to find one. I encourage other "research geeks" out there to help us out by doing some searches and gathering up additional data to help lend clarity to the complete waiver system that seems to be a little cloudy thus far.



* if you can find better or more insightful waiver procedure commentary, please add to this post. Use links, please, to verify your findings.



...As we mentioned a few days ago, the fact that a player has made it into the 53-man roster of a given team doesn't mean that he's safe. With 704 players hitting the market between Friday and Saturday [Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 of 2006], teams will be looking to upgrade spots 46 through 53 on the roster.

"There are guys we are interested in," Eagles G.M. Tom Heckert said Saturday. "If we have a chance to get somebody, we'll have to weigh our options."

Waiver claims for players with less than four accrued seasons must be made by 12:00 p.m. EDT Sunday [Sept. 3, 2006]. The players are then awarded based on priority, with the worst team from 2005 (the Texans) getting the first crack at any given guy. For any player that the Steelers want to pursue via waivers, they only get the guy if no one else wants him.

For each player that a team is awarded through waivers, a player currently on the 53-man roster must be cleared out.

If a player clears waivers, he then becomes an unrestricted free agent.

For vested veterans with four or more accrued seasons, the players immediately become free agents. Only after the trading deadline must vested veterans clear waivers before signing elsewhere.

(You have to scroll down to find it) Link:http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm

09-04-2006, 11:29 AM
I for 1 appreciate info

09-04-2006, 12:31 PM
So, thus far we know the following (be sure to PM me if corrections are needed):

1. A player with less than 4 accrued seasons (Chris Taylor, for example), who is cut, is technically deemed to be "waived."

The team with the worst record (Texans, due to 2005 2-14 record) can claim waived players and get top priority. On the other end of the spectrum, Super Bowl XL winner Pittsburgh can pick up a player only if all other 31 teams pass on said player. Thus, it works similar to the NFL draft because it's based on win/loss record. If a player clears waivers (is NOT picked up by any team, in other words), he then becomes an unrestricted free agent.

EXAMPLE: Chris Taylor can be "claimed" by the other 31 NFL teams. If no team claims him, he is free to sign with any team. In this instance because Taylor has value for having trained with the Texans and thus knowing the Texans' offense well, it would most likely be the Texans signing Taylor (if he clears waivers) to their "Practice Squad" which each team operates at a maximum of EIGHT roster spots for the Practice Squad.

In 2004, the league minimum for waived players on a team's practice squad was $4,000/week for the length of the team's season. Nine NFL teams (Texans are on that list) are choosing to NOT save a spot on the 53-man roster list for a 3rd string QB because they are cutting the 3rd string QB, allowing the QB to pass through waivers, and then signing the QB to the Practice Squad in order to save space on the active 53-man roster. The other Eight teams (currently) are: Patriots, Panthers, Chargers, Broncos, Colts, Cowboys, and Steelers. (information found at http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm)

NOTE: This year's deadline to claim WAIVED players fell on Sunday, Sept. 3rd at 11:00 a.m. CT ("Texas time"). Therefore, the Texans had made their claims for waived players by that deadline. When the waiver claims are released officially, as a news item, is not known and does not appear to be set to be released by the league or the team(s) on an official timeframe that can be calculated and known ahead of time (can someone find out what news agency releases it the earliest or tends to scoop the story first?).

2. A player with four or more accrued seasons (Robaire Smith and Ron Dayne, for example), who is cut, is deemed to be "released."

Released players are not "claimed off waivers" in the same manner as mentioned in Number 1 (above). They become free agents as soon as they are cut, free to sign with whatever team wants to make an offer to them. The exception; however, is this: Only after the trading deadline must vested veterans clear waivers before signing elsewhere.

EXAMPLE: Therefore, Ron Dayne was not waived, he was released. In addition, we did not have to claim him off waivers...we signed him as a free agent. He could have sought offers from other teams. Other teams could have freely offered him a contract after being released by the Broncos. Same goes for Robaire Smith who is free to seek offers or solicit offers with other teams.

NOTE: For each player claimed off waivers or signed as a free agent, the team claiming/signing the player must clear out enough roster spots on the 53 roster list to hold the claimed player(s) and not exceed the 53-man limit.

09-05-2006, 01:35 AM
Thats really good info. Good job.