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NFL roster cutdown dates, preseason calendar

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Preseason officially started last night for the Bills and Giants with the Hall of Fame game, and for the rest of the league's teams, the year starts this week. The next month or so will be a whirlwind of activity as teams finalize their rosters and try to figure out what they have in all their players. There will be injuries, there will be cuts, there may be trades, and there will be some bad football.

For your reference, here are the dates you need to keep in mind over the next month.

August 7-9:

First Preseason Weekend.

August 14-18:

Second Preseason Weekend.

August 21-24:

Third Preseason Weekend.

August 26

Teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the active list prior to 1PM PST.

August 27

All tryouts on this date and for the remainder of the season must be reported to the league office.

August 28

Final Preseason Games.

August 30

Teams must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the active/inactive list by 1PM PST.

Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: Place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the active list.

August 31

Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00 noon, New York time.

August 31

Teams can establish a practice squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free agency credit or who were on the 46-player active list for less than nine regular season games during each of any
accrued seasons. A player cannot serve on the practice squad for more than three seasons.

August 31

Final day of preseason training camp.

September 2

After 4:00 p.m., New York time, a club is permitted to place a player on Reserve/Injured as "Designated for Return."

September 3

At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for all NFL player contracts, practice player contracts, tender offers, and miscellaneous amounts to fit within each club's 2014 salary cap, in anticipation of the midnight expiration of the Top 51 Rule.

September 4, 7-8

Regular season. Holy crap.

September 23

Beginning on the Tuesday following the third weekend of regular season games, the claiming priority is based on the inverse order of the standing of clubs in the current season's games.