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NFL teams have two options for their Training Camp rosters

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They can make cuts now or make cuts later

Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

There has been a bit of speculation as to how the rosters for all 32 NFL teams would look before Training Camps officially got underway. There had been rumors circulating that teams might end up only being able to bring 80 players to camp, and while that isn’t the hard and fast rule, it is an option for everyone.

The league has told teams that they have two options for their pre-camp rosters, and those are spelled out in a letter that went out to the teams on Saturday. Here’s a breakdown of the two options.

Option 1 says that on or before the mandatory reporting date for veterans (which for the Minnesota Vikings is this Tuesday, 28 July), teams can reduce the number of players on their active list to 80. If a team selects this option, they will not have to observe any sort of “split-squad” practice procedures. All 80 players can be in the facility at the same time throughout camp.

Option 2 says that a team can bring as many as 90 players on their active roster to Training Camp. If a team elects this option, they must reduce their roster to 80 by 16 August. In addition, if a team follows this rule, their roster must be broken up into two groups:

  • Group 1 consists of rookies and first-year players and, at the club’s discretion, may include some or all of the quarterbacks and injured players that were to report to camp on 23 July. If a player is assigned to Group 1, they must stay with Group 1 until the roster reduction to 80 players on 16 August.
  • Group 2 consists of the rest of the roster. The two groups have to remain separate at all times. A team may, at any time, elect to reduce their active roster to 80 and have all of their players in the same place at the same time.

You can read the full letter in this tweet by Albert Breer of NBC Sports.

As harsh as it might sound, I’m not sure why a team would take Option 2 at this point. If you can have an opportunity to have all of your players together all the time during practice, I would think that you would take it. I understand it means cutting some players before they get a chance to show you anything, but with things being what they are, I would have to think that coaches would be happier with Option 1 than they would be with having to keep two groups of players separated for three weeks.

(Now watch as the majority of teams take Option 2.)

As we’ve stated a few times already, the Vikings’ roster currently sits at 87 players, so if they do decide to go with Option 1, they’ll have to cut seven players at some point between now and Tuesday. If that happens, we’ll let you know who it is.