LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The NFL’s deadline for teams to cut their rosters to 53 players before the 2023 regular season has come and gone.
That was a 3 p.m. on Tuesday, with Ryan Poles getting his Bears’ roster down to 53 players. Among those bigger names cut were defensive end Trevis Gipson, cornerback Kindle Vildor, quarterback Nathan Peterman, and wide receiver Nsimba Webster.
Now the general manager has one advantage when he looks for players to potentially add to the team – and it has to do with where they finished in 2023.
Since the Bears were the worst team in the NFL, they’ll get the No. 1 spot on the waiver wire, with the ability to claim some of the players that were let go by other teams.
This could be advantageous for Poles since he could have the first shot at a player who might fit a need on the roster. If the Bears were lower, they would have to wait for the teams above them to pass on the player before they would be able to claim them.
So how does it all work?
After 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the Bears and every other team in the NFL has the ability to put in a claim on a waiver-eligible player that was cut in the reduction of rosters to 53. That’s defined as an athlete who has less than four years of “accrued” service in the NFL, which means that person must have at least six games on a 53-man roster, injured list, or PUP in a given year.
Claims on the players will be processed by the league on Wednesday at 11 a.m. central time, when teams will find out if they were able to get the player. The Bears won’t have to worry about it since they are at the top of the waiver list.
Once a claim goes through, the Bears must make room for that player on the active roster by either cutting him, putting him on IR, or putting him on the practice
So how long do the Bears get to be in the top spot?
Per NFL rules, they’ll be at the top spot through the third week of the season. Then it will be set each week based on the current standings in reverse order, so the worst team in the league would have the top pick.