When are NFL preseason roster cuts due for 2024?

The Kansas City Chiefs and other teams will have to make some difficult calls after letting over 30 players go in late summer.
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The Kansas City Chiefs and other teams will have to make some difficult calls after letting over 30 players go in late summer.

The Kansas City Chiefs alone are only a couple of months away from having to negatively alter the course of over three dozen players. It's at that point, when the National Football League mandates that teams submit their final roster cuts to get down to the 53-man regular season rosters, that dreams are cut short and players are forced to to make major changes.

Every player is aware that making his NFL dreams come true is a true battle, that it requires stiff competition for each and every roster spot and that elite athletes are sent home every year without a job. Still it's hard to stomach the actual moment when 37 players are let go.

The math is brutal when it comes to roster cuts in the NFL. While it's heartening for players and good for teams to have the expansive rosters of the long offseason—which allow for up to 90 different players—it also means that whittling that total back down to 53 is a tough exercise for all involved.

The silver lining for some players is that there are an additional 16 roster spots available on a team's practice squad to enter the season, but those spots are always tenuous and it's still nervewracking for players given so little job security.

So how do roster cuts work? And when do teams have to make those decisions? It's broken up by modern NFL rules into a three-tiered calendar.

First round of roster cuts

This is when teams move from their 90-man rosters to 85 and this happens after the first round of preseason games are over. Those games are scheduled from August 8-11, so expect the first round of five cuts to come on August 12.

Second round of roster cuts

As you might have guessed, this happens after the second week of preseason play is wrapped on the calendar and teams are forced to go from 85 to 80 players total heading into the third and final preseason game. The likely date for those cuts this year will happen after games are played between August 15-18.

Final round of roster cuts

The league has set a date of August 27 as the date that final rosters are due. Teams will release their final 27 players leading up to that date and the Carolina Panthers, who sit first in the waiver claim order, will get first crack at poaching any of those prospects who weren't able to make the active roster from the outset of camp.

Once a player goes unclaimed by another team, he is then free to be placed on a team's practice squad if that franchise wants to retain him.