NFL Waivers Process


The Cleveland Browns made their final roster adjustments yesterday to get down to the required 53 men on their roster. We looked at the cuts as well as the final roster earlier this morning. Take a good hard look because what that roster looks like now could change quickly. Quickly as in today around 4PM as NFL waivers process takes hold.

Many who play fantasy football have a good understanding of waivers. Someone drops a player and he is placed on waivers so that the rest of the league has time to become aware of his availability. Whoever wants the player then puts a claim in for him. Team with the worst record when the waiver period ends gets the player and drops another player.

Very similar is real football, just on a much larger scale and you know, real life! So yesterday, let us just say at 4PM to keep everything simple, a ton (estimate of course) of players were waived. These were players with less than 4 years of accrued experience in the NFL. Other players were cut, players with more than 4 years experience, and we are not talking about them here. They are free agents, free to sign anywhere.

Of those estimated “a ton” of waived players a few, or quite a few, might be of interest to the Browns and other NFL teams. Those teams, just like you can in fantasy, put in waiver claims for the player(s) they are interested in. If more than one team puts in a claim for a player the team with the highest waiver priority wins. That is the same as the NFL Draft order, so the Browns have 4th highest priority. Of interest that order stays the same through the first 3 weeks of the season.

So if the Browns are interested in say Stephen Hill, they would put in claim for him and get him as long as the Texans, Redskins and Jaguars also did not put in a claim. Means the Browns should get most of the players they are interested in, just not all. Any players not claimed, like Jacobbi McDaniel (pictured) can be placed on the team’s practice squad.

What makes this waiver claim period so interesting today is the sheer volume of players available all at around the same time. The Browns could have quite a few players they are interested in and have to prioritize those players. The team will also have to keep their eye on who other teams drop in order to make their own waiver claims. That will create a second 24 hour window for the Browns and other teams. The waiver claim circus should end by Tuesday morning as teams look to start preparations for Week 1.

Clear things up?