For many, today is the day that marks the start of a new season. The preseason is done and over with, and by the end of the day, teams will have their final rosters. While the team has yet to cut anyone yet, the Ravens will have to trim their roster down to just 53 players by the end of the day.
While the coverage and speculation surrounding today's cuts has been going on for days, here's some basic information.
When is the cut deadline?
All 32 NFL teams are required to be at the 53-man limit by today, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 at 4:00 PM EST.
What happens to those cut players?
They go to the NFL's waiver process. If you're confused about how this works, t's a lot like the waiver wire in fantasy football. Players are released, and are then open to being claimed by any other team, other than the one that dropped them. If the player goes unclaimed through waivers, they are free to sign with any team as an unrestricted free agent. The waiver claim order is the same as this year's draft order, meaning that the Ravens have the 26th claim on any players they may be interested in. Teams with the worse records have the higher claim priority. All claims this year must be submitted to the league by noon tomorrow.
Here is a full explanation in case you're still a little confused.
Claimed players typically go to team's practice squads, which they can begin forming when the waiver claim period ends.
Who can be on the practice squad?
Teams can sign up to ten players to their practice squad, and these ten players do not count against the 53-man limit. The practice squads are almost always composed of young and inexperinced NFL players, this being mostly due to the NFL's rules on who is practice squad elgible. These players are usually paid a little more than $6k a week, and work out all year long, just like normal players. The only caveat of the practice squad is that players on the practice squad can be signed by any other team at any time. The catch being that the team who signs the player must keep them on their active (53-man) roster for at least three weeks.
Anyone who says these players are useless is dead wrong. Cameron Wake, Arian Foster, and James Harrison are just a few of the prominent alumnus of NFL practice squads.
After today, is this what the final Ravens roster will look like?
Pretty much, yes. While a few trades or waiver pickups may happen, you're looking at your 2015-16 Baltimore Ravens, the best team in the league. This is the group that will suit up next week in Denver.
Where can I find out about these cuts as they happen?
Right here of course! I'll be sitting here scouring Twitter feeds for all of the latest news. The Beatdown is your one-stop shop for final cut news.