League unexpectedly expands rosters from 80 to 90
Last month, the NFL’s owners tabled until May a variety of proposed changes, including the expansion of the offseason rosters from 80 to 90 players per team.
On Monday, out of the blue, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello announced on Twitter that, as of 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the roster limit officially will be expanded.
It means that another 320 players will get a chance to win a job on the 53-man roster via their efforts during a truncated offseason program and a less intense training camp. (It also means that another 320 players will have the chance to say “no, thanks” to an invitation to play pro football -- and none will.)
It’s unclear how the change was made apart from the confines of an ownership meeting. It’s possible that a vote was taken electronically or by phone, or that some other approval process was used, given that the change technically will be made to a bylaw, not a formal rule.
As explained by Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay last month, the increase from 80 to 90 will result in a decrease from 90 to 80 players after the third preseason game and a drop from 80 to 53 after the final preseason game, which will flood the market with 864 players less than a week before the first game of the season.