Although the Detroit Lions cut their roster down to 53-men on Saturday, their work may not be done. Hundreds of players were released this weekend, and teams are combing through the list of players to see if any can help bolster the bottom of their roster. For Detroit, they may be seeking some offensive line depth or some help on the defensive line front. Additionally, the Lions will need to build a practice squad for some extra depth. Here's the breakdown on how all of that works:
Who is on the waiver wire?
Any player that was released Saturday that has accrued no more than four seasons of experience in the NFL. Players that have accrued more than four years of experience do not go to the waiver wire, they are immediately available for anyone to sign.
Putting in a claim
If a team wants first crack at a player before he clears waivers, they must put in a claim for him by noon ET Sunday. Putting in a claim does not guarantee that the team will sign that player, because multiple teams can put in a claim for the same player.
Who gets priority?
After noon on Sunday, the NFL will look through the claims made and the team that has the highest priority for the player will get the opportunity to sign them. Priority ranking is based off of the draft order for 2015. So the Lions have 23rd priority of anyone released Saturday. If anyone ranked above the Lions were to put in a claim for the same player as Detroit, they would get priority over the Lions.
What about the practice squad?
In order for the Lions to retain some of Saturday's cuts and place them on the practice squad, they must clear waivers first. In other words, the Lions can bring them back if no one else wants them for their 53-man roster (presuming they're practice squad eligible). Rules for practice squad are outlined below (thanks to Niners Nation for the breakdown)
In order to be eligible for the practice squad, players must meet one of the following requirements:
- Have no prior Accrued Seasons in the NFL (An accrued season is six or more games on the active roster);
- Have one prior Accrued Season in which the player was on the 45-man active roster for no more than 8 games;
- Each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of 2 Practice Squad players who have earned no more than 2 accrued seasons of free agency credit;
- If served two seasons on a practice squad, are eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player's employment.
- A player has served one season on the practice squad if he is on the practice squad for at least 6 games. The rule previously required 3 games on the practice squad roster.
- Casey Pierce
- Al Bond
- Brian Suite
- Kellen Moore
- George Winn
- Larry Webster
- Kerry Hyder
- Isaiah Johnson
- Xavier Proctor
- Joe Madsen
- Torian Wilson
- Braxston Cave
- Jerel Worthy
- Joseph Fauria
- Jeremy Ross
- Julian Stanford