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NFL waiver wire, practice squad times, rules, eligibility and how the Chiefs fit in

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The Kansas City Chiefs will now look to the NFL waiver wire for their next set of roster moves and shortly after that it will be the practice squad. So let’s look at the rules and eligibility for both.

The waiver wire was a popular topic in Kansas City four years ago when they held the top spot in the waiver order and claimed a whopping seven players on this weekend, including Ron Parker and Jaye Howard from Seattle.

Don’t expect that to happen again this year.

The Chiefs roster is much deeper now than it was then. They don’t have the roster spots for seven new players. 43 of the Chiefs current 53-man roster is returning from last year. Add in five draft picks (they cut one), a couple free agents and there just aren’t many spots available.

The waiver wire ends at 11 a.m. (Arrowhead Time) today. An hour after that, the Chiefs can make their practice squad at 12 p.m. (Arrowhead Time).

Some notes on the waiver wire...

How does the waiver wire work?

Players with less than four years of service are subject to waivers after they are cut. That means any team can put a claim in on that player and if they are highest in the order of claims they get that player.

What is the waiver wire order?

It’s the draft order so the Chiefs are 27th (unfortunately not 10th where they traded up). One thing about this too is that you can claim as many players as you want. The Browns have the top waiver spot and they can claim as many players as they want (well, not more than 53). They won’t lose priority. So, it’s not like your fantasy football waiver process where you can claim one player then lose your priority.

Why are some players signing right away and others going to waivers?

You saw the Broncos cut safety TJ Ward, right? He’s a vested veteran with more than four years of service in the NFL so he is not subject to waivers. He has already signed a new deal with the Buccaneers. A player like Chiefs sixth round pick Leon McQuay is, however, subject to waivers.

Who should the Chiefs claim off waivers?

I put out a list of players (not necessarily waiver wire players) that I could be interested in here. The one that jumps out at me is running back Matt Jones out of Washington. (Update: Colts claimed Jones) However, I’m not even sure the Chiefs see running back as a need though because GM Brett Veach sounded like they had a plan with CJ Spiller.

How does the practice squad fit in here?

Good question (wait what). Once a player like Leon McQuay clears waivers for the Chiefs, he is eligible for the Chiefs 10-man practice squad. A player has to be exposed to waivers to make it to the practice squad so essentially every team has to pass on him.

Tell me more about the practice squad

OK. I took this from our pals at Blogging The Boys. You can find more details at that link.

  • Each NFL team can have up to 10 players on its practice squad.
  • Practice squad players ... practice with the team. They do not play in games.
  • Not all players are eligible to be signed to NFL practice squads (see eligibility rules above).
  • Practice squad players are paid per week and can be released at any point during the season.
  • Practice squad players are free to sign with other NFL teams, but they have to be signed to the 53-man active roster of the acquiring team. A practice squad player cannot be signed to another practice squad unless he is first released.
  • A practice squad player can not sign with his team's upcoming opponent, unless he does so six days before the upcoming game or 10 days if his team is currently on a bye week.
  • If a practice squad player is signed to the active roster, he will receive a minimum of three weekly paychecks, even if he is released before spending three weeks with the new team.

How much are practice squad players paid?

There is no maximum but the minimum this year is $7,200 per week, which is up from $6,900 last year. So it was a nice weekly salary last year and will be again this year.

Who will the Chiefs put on the practice squad?

It’s a pretty good bet the Chiefs initial practice squad will be made up almost entirely of players that they cut on Saturday. So start here.

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