August 31, 2017
There's something different about the NFL preseason this summer, specifically in the way rosters are constructed – or rather, in the way they are deconstructed.
It actually already happened, and you probably didn't even notice.
In past years, before finalizing their 53-man rosters for the regular season, teams first had to trim their rosters from 90 players down to 75 players. Typically, this happened between the third and fourth preseason games – in fact, the deadline to do so should've been Tuesday at 4 p.m.
But that didn't happen, thanks to a recent change in the rules. Rosters now remain at 90 until after the final preseason game – this year's deadline is Saturday at 4 p.m. – so that coaches have more time to evaluate their team before making cuts.
That may make things easier when it comes to your own players, but with so many guys hitting the market all at once, it's likely going to have the opposite effect when it comes time to pick someone up off the waiver wire.
In past years, the Howie Roseman and the Eagles have been quite active immediately following roster cuts, during a period Doug Pederson referred to on Tuesday as an annual "feeding frenzy." And despite the changes, the second-year head coach expects his team to be active once again.
"It's going to be extremely difficult because so many guys are going to hit the wire on a short notice," he said when asked about not having to trim the roster to 75 players. "It's hard to evaluate them all. You just don't have enough man-hours to get the job done.
"A lot of it, with our department, is the prep work they do beforehand to anticipate moves. And then it just kind of becomes a feeding frenzy a little bit to claim players and to see if somebody can fit into your scheme.
"I'm sure we'll be active. We usually are. Try to fill out, not only the roster, but practice squad guys."
The Eagles take on the Jets Thursday night in what will be Pederson's final look at his team before final decisions have to be made – even though some already have, with more likely close behind.
And with these new roster changes, hopefully, he's got someone watching the other games as well.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports