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What Comes Next?

NFL: Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp is now over. The Jets and the rest of the teams in the NFL need to cut their rosters to 53 by 4:00 pm Eastern tomorrow afternoon.

What happens to these players next depends on how long they have been in the NFL.

Players the Jets cut who have at least four years of NFL service time instantly become free agents and eligible to sign with any team.

Players with less than three years of service time need to pass through the waiver process.

Here’s how that works. The other 31 teams all have a chance to claim the player. If they do, that player joins their roster. The team absorbs the player’s contract. If nobody claims the player, then he becomes a free agent and eligible to sign with the team of his choice on a new contract. He also could join a practice squad.

What happens if more than one team claims a player? The team with the highest waiver priority gets him. The waiver priority order is the same as the order in last year’s NFL Draft. (And no, it doesn’t work like fantasy football. A team doesn’t go to the back of the line after it makes a claim. The Draft order remains the priority list until a few weeks into the regular season when it is determined by record.)

The Jets will also have the opportunity to claim players waived by other teams. You might expect them to be active making claims at need positions such as wide receiver and kicker.

There are currently ten teams ahead of the Jets in the waiver priority order. They are Cincinnati, Washington, Detroit, the Giants, Miami, the Chargers, Carolina, Arizona, Jacksonville, and Cleveland. If any of those teams and the Jets claim the same player, those teams get him. If the Jets and any other team in the NFL claim the same player, the Jets get him.