NFL teams currently have up to 80 players each. Three weeks from today, each team will have to trim the roster to 53 players. Some teams are considering an intermediate step.
As one high-level source with one specific team told PFT on Saturday, teams may cut to 69 players in advance of the deadline for reducing to 53. This would encompass the full roster plus 16 practice-squad players, sending a clear message to the players who remain that they are firmly in the team’s plans.
The reason for such a move is simple: Teams want guys who know they will be there, or if not there somewhere else. The 16 players cut as the team gets to 53 will be exposed to waivers; if not claimed, they’ll be signed to the practice squad.
Of course, that could change for any given team, based on other players who become available. But that’s a nuance that likely will be lost on the players who see an early reduction to 69 or so as a sign that they’re not destined to be on the outside looking in. Which, ideally, will ensure that they don’t do anything stupid between now and Labor Day weekend — up to and including trying to sneak someone into the team’s hotel.