The NFL has altered preseason roster reduction deadlines a few times over the past decade, but this newest rule change is rolling back to something that was done for a few seasons prior to the 2020 COVID season.
Effective this 2023 preseason, rosters can remain at 90 players through the final preseason game, after which a single cutdown day to 53 players is made.
Among NFL resolutions approved today is going to just one roster cutdown in preseason. So teams will go from 90 to 53 after final preseason game.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 28, 2023
Compare that with the 2021 and 2022 model of:
- Roster reduction from 90 to 85
- Roster reduction from 85 to 80
- Final roster reduction from 80 to 53
If you recall, the NFL actually did have a three-season stretch from 2017 to 2019 where going directly from 90 to 53 was permitted, then the 2020 season (sans exhibition games) required teams to cut from 90 to 80 players before mid-August, then a final cut to 53 a week out from the start of the regular season.
Deadline day for 2023 is Tuesday, August 29th. Obviously teams can just get to releasing players a lot sooner than that since that’ll be a few days after everyone has played their respective preseason finales. Otherwise we’re in for an extremely hectic day of cutdown day coverage.