The NFL is going with a three-phased roster cut process this summer, which could complicate decisions for GMs.
The Green Bay Packers, particularly under the stewardship of general manager Brian Gutekunst, have been known to pursue every avenue of player acquisition to improve their roster. Gutekunst famously said that he would “leave no stone unturned” to keep the team’s roster competitive, and he has generally lived up to that promise.
Whether through the waiver process, free agent acquisitions, or trades (most of which have involved sending players away for draft picks), Gutekunst has churned the bottom of the team’s roster regularly over his three-plus years in charge of the personnel department. In 2021, however, the NFL has adjusted its preseason roster cutdown deadlines a bit, requiring teams to be even more creative than in recent years as to how they assemble — and dissemble — their players.
With that in mind, here is a list of the critical roster-related dates that face the Packers during the summer of 2021 and into the regular season. One of the most notable is that the league has three separate cut-down dates: first from 90 to 85 players, then from 85 to 80, and finally down to the final 53. This system shows some similarities to the process that was in place through the 2016 preseason, when teams faced a two-phased cut by moving down to 75 men before the final preseason game. However, the early deadline to get to 75 was eliminated starting in 2017, and teams have had just a single cut date to go from 90 to 53 since.
Here are the most important roster-related dates for this summer and autumn:
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