2023 NFL Roster Cuts explainer: Rules, deadlines, and everything you need to know!

New York Giants v Detroit Lions
New York Giants v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
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What is the exact timeline franchises follow when making the cuts?

This season, NFL roster cut rules have been simplified and turned into a one-day event in which teams must go straight from 90 to 53 active players in their roster.

Teams have the liberty to carry fewer than 90 players on their rosters before the deadline and can release players gradually according to their discretion, which has been happening across the NFL for the full summer already.

Prior to 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 29, teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List, and submit the names to the NFL.

Players on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) or Non-football Injury (NFI) lists are excluded from the 90- and/or 53-player roster count during both the offseason and regular season. Consequently, activating a player from either list necessitates freeing up a roster spot to accommodate their return.

Should a player remain on the PUP list at the time of the roster cuts, reactivation can only occur after the team's fourth regular-season game making the player available to play ahead of Week 5. Players placed on Injured Reserve (IR) before the final cut day are ineligible to return during the season.

Once the 53-player roster deadline has elapsed, players can be placed on IR with the option to return at any point within the regular season.