Collective Bargaining Agreement

Teams Proposing Pushing Trade Deadline From Week 8 To Week 10

FEBRUARY 28: A half-measure move to Week 9 has generated some traction, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones. The 49ers, Commanders, Eagles, Jets and Lions are joining the Browns’ push to propose moving the trade endpoint back. That said, disagreement exists among GMs and owners if the deadline needs to be moved at all.

Competitive balance reasons emerged when we last heard this matter brought up, and Jones adds the league wants to protect against potential tanking, something that could conceivably arise by giving sellers two extra weeks to determine their paths. The next round of league meetings are set for March 24-27.

FEBRUARY 27: While we heard a few months ago that the NFL is unlikely to delay their current trade-deadline setup, that won’t stop some teams from pushing for a change. During an appearance on PFT Live, Browns general manager Andrew Berry said the Browns and several other teams have proposed pushing the trade deadline from the end of Week 8 to the end of Week 10 (via PFT on X).

[RELATED: NFL Unlikely To Move Trade Deadline]

While teams have a handful of reasons for pushing for a change to the deadline date, Berry noted that the most obvious logic is because the NFL never adapted the date when switching to an 18-week schedule. The NFL moved the deadline to Week 8 back in 2012, but they kept their deadline the same when they added a week to their schedule in 2021.

“We want to retroactively correct the fact that the trade deadline never moved when the season expanded to 17 games,” Berry told reporters (via Mary Kay Cabot of “If, at some point in the future, the regular season expands to 18 games, we wanted to be proactive in terms of the positioning for the trade deadline.”

Further, Berry and rival teams believe that pushing the trade deadline back would only benefit the NFL as a whole. The expanded opportunity to improve a team via trade would assist with the “competitive integrity” of the league, according to the executive.

“We think as a league it makes sense to give teams the most flexibility as long as possible to have the best product down the stretch run of the playoffs,” Berry stated (h/t Spencer German of Browns Digest). “We wanted to make sure we maintained the competitive integrity of the season so you don’t get into player dumping late in the year.”

Berry also simply pointed to rival sports leagues as a reason for pushing back the NFL trade deadline. MLB’s trade deadline checks in around two thirds of the way through the season, while the NBA and NHL come after the half-way point of the campaign. The NFL deadline comes in at about 45% of the way through the season, and Berry noted to reporters that the proposed change would push that mark to about 55% of the way through the season. The GM also noted that a Week 10 deadline is notable because it’s been more than a decade since a team has been eliminated from postseason contention earlier than Week 11.

The NFL’s deadline change in 2012 led to an increase in in-season trading, and another change would only help to further increase the number of deals. After the 2022 deadline featured a record 10 trades on deadline day, multiple teams reached out to the league office about the prospect of moving the deadline back. Nothing came of it in time for the 2023 campaign, and while the NFL doesn’t sound overly receptive to making a change in 2024, Berry and his counterparts appear to have a strong argument when the owners meet next month.

NFL Sets 2024 Salary Cap At $255.4MM

Initial salary cap projections pointed to a potential $20MM increase, and a recent report revealed the 2024 NFL spending ceiling could check in higher than expected. Both turned out to be conservative estimates.

The NFL announced Friday the cap will settle at $255.4MM,’s Tom Pelissero reports. That represents a record-setting single-year increase. The 2023 cap came in at $224.8MM, marking a 13.6% spike. This provides teams with more flexibility this year and players with increased opportunities.

[RELATED: 2024 Franchise/Transition Tag Numbers]

Friday’s number shatters the previous single-year record for a cap increase. The previous instance occurred in 2022, when the league’s salary ceiling rose by more than $26MM. That came, however, after only the second-ever cap decrease. After the COVID-19 pandemic — which brought fanless venues or significantly reduced capacities — led to the cap dropping by $16MM from 2021 to ’22, it ballooned by $26MM before returning on its course. Even as the cap had been rising since that one-year reduction, this represents an unexpected boom.

Teams were indeed working with models that settled the 2024 cap between $242-$245MM,’s Dan Graziano notes, making Friday’s final number a significant development as teams make their final preparations for free agency. This will help teams afford some costs they may have previously determined unfeasible while boosting the values of this year’s top free agents. It also introduces another complication for teams negotiating landmark extensions with top talent.

Prior to the pandemic becoming a reality, the CBA negotiations — complete with the expected finalizations of new TV deals soon after — did paint a picture of unprecedented cap growth. A February 2020 report hinted at a monster cap increase by the mid-2020s. While nothing on the $300MM radar has emerged, the 2020 CBA is bringing cap growth that far outpaces the 2011 agreement, which had settled in at approximately $10MM-per-year climbs once growth was restored around the mid-2010s.

The 2021 television deals and YouTube TV’s $2 billion NFL Sunday Ticket agreement, along with gambling partnerships and full repayment of COVID-19-related deferrals, collectively produced this spike. While it was rumored the league sought a more gradual rise, NFL-NFLPA negotiations produced this whopping number. As a result, franchise tag numbers and the four-tiered fifth-year option salary structure — for the 2021 first-round contingent — are locked in.

Prior to the 2020 CBA, the highest single-year cap increase occurred in 2006. That year’s CBA brought an approximately $17MM climb — to $102MM — from 2005. But the 2011 CBA leveled off growth for a stretch, leading to the cap residing between $116MM and $124MM for a five-year period (2008-13). We are in a different era now. The 2014 offseason increased the cap by $10MM from that previous years-long range; we are now more than $120MM beyond that number.

Here are the NFL’s salary caps over the past two CBAs:

  • 2011: $120.4MM
  • 2012: $120.6MM
  • 2013: $123.6MM
  • 2014: $133MM
  • 2015: $143.3MM
  • 2016: $155.3MM
  • 2017: $167MM
  • 2018: $177.2MM
  • 2019: $188.2MM
  • 2020: $198.2MM
  • 2021: $182.5MM
  • 2022: $208.2MM
  • 2023: $224.8MM
  • 2024: $255.4MM

2025 Fifth-Year Option Salaries Revealed

Friday’s salary cap reveal ($255.4MM) both cements the franchise tag tender amounts and sets the fifth-year option prices for the 2021 first-round class. The record-setting spike represents good news for the latter contingent.

This will be the fourth offseason for the tiered fifth-year option format. The NFL’s 2020 CBA changed the option structure for first-round picks, fully guaranteeing the options but doing so based on performance and usage rate. The 2011 CBA gave teams flexibility by making the options guaranteed for injury only, allowing franchises to cut players free of charge as long as they passed March physicals. The 2018, ’19, ’20 and ’21 draft classes have now gained access to fully guaranteed options.

Players who have been original invitees to two or more Pro Bowls (original ballot only) reside on the top tier. Micah Parsons, Patrick Surtain and Ja’Marr Chase check in here. Matching the 2024 franchise tag prices, here is how those numbers will look in 2024 (courtesy of’s Tom Pelissero):

  • Quarterback: $38.3MM
  • Running back: $11.95MM
  • Wide receiver: $21.82MM
  • Tight end: $12.69MM
  • Offensive line: $20.99MM
  • Defensive end: $21.32MM
  • Defensive tackle: $22.1MM
  • Linebacker: $24MM
  • Cornerback: $19.8MM
  • Safety: $17.12MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.98MM

Tier 2 on the option structure covers players who have been selected to one Pro Bowl as non-alternates. Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater and Kyle Pitts‘ option prices come in here. This tier matches the 2024 transition tag values.

  • Quarterback: $34.37MM
  • Running back: $9.77MM
  • Wide receiver: $19.77MM
  • Tight end: $10.88MM
  • Offensive line: $19MM
  • Defensive end: $19.1MM
  • Defensive tackle: $18.49MM
  • Linebacker: $19.97MM
  • Cornerback: $17.22MM
  • Safety: $13.82MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.43MM

Participation impacts the final two tiers. Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the third-20th highest salaries at their position. Tier 3 consists of players who played at least 75% in two of their first three seasons, those who averaged at least a 75% snap share through three seasons or those who crossed the 50% snap barrier in each of their initial three slates. Trevor Lawrence, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Christian Darrisaw are among the players whose options will come in on Tier 3.

  • Quarterback: $25.66MM
  • Running back: $6.79MM
  • Wide receiver: $15.59MM
  • Tight end: $7.96MM
  • Offensive line: $16.04MM
  • Defensive end: $14.58MM
  • Defensive tackle: $13.1MM
  • Linebacker: $14.48MM
  • Cornerback: $13.38MM
  • Safety: $9.51MM
  • Kicker/punter: $4.39MM

The fourth and final tier consists of players who failed to reach those participation rates:

  • Quarterback: $22.41MM
  • Running back: $6.14MM
  • Wide receiver: $14.35MM
  • Tight end: $7.21MM
  • Offensive line: $13.31MM
  • Defensive end: $13.39MM
  • Defensive tackle: $11.75MM
  • Linebacker: $13.25MM
  • Cornerback: $12.47MM
  • Safety: $8.65MM
  • Kicker/punter: $4.1MM

2024 Franchise/Transition Tag Numbers

Friday afternoon’s unveiling of the 2024 salary cap brings clarity to the franchise tag scene. Already in this year’s window to apply tags, teams now know officially what it will cost to do so.

This marks the 32nd offseason in which NFL teams could use franchise or transition tags, a player-retention tool brought on along with the emergence of full-fledged free agency in 1993. Teams can use either the franchise or transition tag during an offseason, but not both. While Xavier McKinney has already come up as a transition tag candidate, only four players have been slapped with that designation over the past 10 years. Handfuls of players are franchise-tagged each year, however.

A number of candidates are on the radar to be tagged, though no team has designated a franchise player yet this year. Here are the 2024 non-exclusive tag numbers by position, according to’s Tom Pelissero:

  • Quarterback: $38.3MM
  • Running back: $11.95MM
  • Wide receiver: $21.82MM
  • Tight end: $12.69MM
  • Offensive line: $20.99MM
  • Defensive end: $21.32MM
  • Defensive tackle: $22.1MM
  • Linebacker: $24MM
  • Cornerback: $19.8MM
  • Safety: $17.12MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.98MM

This does not apply to all franchise tag candidates. Players who were tagged in 2023 would be tied to a number that comes in 120% north of their 2023 salary. This previously established the tag prices of Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard. None of those running backs are a lock to be tagged this year, and due to the cap growth, Barkley’s tag figure of barely $12MM is roughly the same as what it will cost a team to tag a running back for the first time this year.

Chris Jones‘ situation also differs, due to the star Chiefs defensive tackle being tagged in 2020. A Jones tag would cost the Chiefs 120% of his pre-restructure 2023 salary. That number coming in beyond $32MM makes the eight-year veteran prohibitive to tag. Jones’ camp received some good news via the $255.4MM cap reveal, which gives teams more money to spend this offseason.

Only one other player — Lamar Jackson — has been tagged for beyond $30MM. That move cost the Ravens $32.4MM last year; it will now cost teams $38.3MM to tag a quarterback. No QBs are on the radar to be tagged this year, with Friday’s cap reveal all but slamming the door shut on the Buccaneers tagging Baker Mayfield. While teams can enjoy more flexibility in making final preparations for their free agency budgets, tagging players will be a bit costlier than clubs expected.

The exclusive tag, which prevents players from speaking with other teams, is rarely used due to the increased costs and the non-exclusive tag being an effective deterrent at keeping players off the market. The non-exclusive tag mandates a team that signs a player to an unmatched offer sheet send two first-round picks to the player’s previous club. The transition tag, however, entitles a team to no compensation if it fails to match an offer sheet for a player.

Here are the 2024 transition tag numbers:

  • Quarterback: $34.37MM
  • Running back: $9.77MM
  • Wide receiver: $19.77MM
  • Tight end: $10.88MM
  • Offensive line: $19MM
  • Defensive end: $19.1MM
  • Defensive tackle: $18.49MM
  • Linebacker: $19.97MM
  • Cornerback: $17.22MM
  • Safety: $13.82MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.43MM

2024 NFL Salary Cap To Approach $250MM?

Last year brought an earlier resolution on the salary cap front. The $224.8MM figure emerged in late January, but it is not out of the ordinary for the process to take longer to produce a number. A slower run-up is transpiring this year.

In December, we heard teams were expecting the cap to check in around $240MM. Teams’ internal projections at that point were going on a salary ceiling between $235-$240MM. It looks like clubs are now expecting that number to be a bit higher; a year-to-year increase of more than $20MM may now be in play.

After indicating an expectation the 2024 cap would be north of $243MM, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio added the number will likely veer closer to $250MM. This would be approaching a historic one-year increase.

The previous record came between the 2021 and ’22 offseasons, and extraordinary circumstances drove that. After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second-ever cap decrease, the 2022 number ($208.2MM) came in $26MM higher than the 2021 ceiling. Flirting with that type of increase under more normal circumstances would be an interesting development for the league.

The NFL and NFLPA negotiate the salary cap, and Florio adds the league may be attempting to enact a more gradual increase from the 2023 number. The March 2021 TV agreements, along with money coming in from gambling partnerships, will factor into this year’s salary cap. The YouTube TV seven-year “NFL Sunday Ticket” agreement, worth more than $2 billion, will impact future caps as well.

Once the 2024 salary ceiling emerges, matters like franchise tag numbers and RFA tenders — along with fifth-year option prices for the 2021 first-rounders — will crystallize. The cap has only climbed by $20MM-plus in a year once, and it has only jumped more than $15MM twice (last year and in 2006, when a new CBA was ratified).

Illustrating the league’s growth, the 2024 cap is expected to reside more than $110MM above where it stood in 2014. Here is how the salary cap has climbed over the past two CBAs:

  • 2011: $120.4MM
  • 2012: $120.6MM
  • 2013: $123.6MM
  • 2014: $133MM
  • 2015: $143.3MM
  • 2016: $155.3MM
  • 2017: $167MM
  • 2018: $177.2MM
  • 2019: $188.2MM
  • 2020: $198.2MM
  • 2021: $182.5MM
  • 2022: $208.2MM
  • 2023: $224.8MM

Teams Expect 2024 Salary Cap To Check In Around $240MM

Over the course of the 2011 CBA, the NFL salary cap did not jump by more than $12MM in a single year. The 2020s look likely to produce another climb by at least $15MM.

The cap checked in at $224.8MM this year, marking an increase from 2022 ($208.2MM). While unresolved issues are holding up a projection for the 2024 cap,’s Albert Breer notes teams’ internal projections have placed the 2024 salary ceiling between $235-$240MM. Though, Breer adds the actual number is likely to come in a bit higher, potentially closer to $245MM.

Following the 2021 cap reduction that stemmed from the fanless or fan-limited 2020 season, the cap jumped by a record $26MM to the above-referenced 2022 number. A climb to approximately $240MM, the second-highest year-to-year increase since the cap was implemented in 1994, would be in line with the growth under the current CBA. The 2020 agreement has brought multiple additional revenue drivers.

The NFL expanded the playoffs to 14 teams in 2020, ending a 30-season run of 12-team brackets. In 2021, the league broke a 42-year string (strike years excluded) of 16-game regular seasons. The expanded playoffs and 17-game regular season has helped, with each factoring into the new round of TV deals that became final in March 2021. Those contracts run through 2033. The YouTube TV seven-year “NFL Sunday Ticket” agreement, worth more than $2 billion, will impact future salary caps as well.

Last year’s round of internal team projections represented an accurate number for the 2023 cap, so the 2024 range should be viewed as relevant here. OverTheCap’s prediction has also moved down to $242MM. No official projection will arrive until January, per’s Adam Schefter, who adds a league memo sent to teams recently indicated the NFL and NFLPA are still working on unresolved matters.

Here is how the salary cap has climbed over the past two CBAs:

  • 2011: $120.4MM
  • 2012: $120.6MM
  • 2013: $123.6MM
  • 2014: $133MM
  • 2015: $143.3MM
  • 2016: $155.3MM
  • 2017: $167MM
  • 2018: $177.2MM
  • 2019: $188.2MM
  • 2020: $198.2MM
  • 2021: $182.5MM
  • 2022: $208.2MM
  • 2023: $224.8MM

NFL Unlikely To Move Trade Deadline

In 2012, the NFL moved its trade deadline back two weeks, slotting it on the Tuesday following Week 8. This has led to increased in-season trading. While the league has not caught up to Major League Baseball or the NBA on this front, the increased activity has brought more interest in the country’s most popular sports league.

The NFL has since extended its season, pushing the schedule to 18 weeks in 2021. It had stood at 17 for 31 years, with bye weeks debuting in 1990, and had been at 16 from 1978-89. Setting the trade deadline shortly after Week 8 represents a different timeline from the MLB, NBA and NHL calendars. Baseball’s deadline checks in two thirds of the way through the season. The NBA trade endpoint arrives in early February, which is beyond the halfway point in that season. Hockey’s is even closer to the playoffs, with 2024’s deadline placed on March 8.

It appears the NFL will preserve its status quo. After discussions last year about pushing the deadline back, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini notes the league is unlikely to change its current trade setup. A league official informed Russini competitive balance resides behind the resistance to change the deadline date (subscription required).

From the NFL’s side, more time for teams to trade players could indeed affect competitive balance. More sellers would emerge under this format, with struggling teams having a clearer path to high draft picks the following year. Less money in base salary would remain on trade chips’ contracts.

Pushing the deadline back one or two weeks would open the door to higher-profile players being moved and teams that miss out on these pieces being at a disadvantage. Teams that fail to make upgrades could find themselves outgunned in a way they have not been under the present format. With fewer games in NFL regular seasons compared to the other top American sports, trades have the potential to provide bigger swings.

Then again, this is what has made the other sports’ deadlines more interesting. The fear of being outgunned annually drives MLB and NBA contenders to make moves, seeing those deadlines become important roster-building windows. The NFL has seen trading increase since the 2012 switch, but a number of contenders annually sit out the deadline.

Last year brought more in-season moves, with a record-setting 18 coming between Week 1 and the deadline. The first year of the post-Week 8 deadline brought only two. Teams have gradually become more flexible to in-season additions. From 2012-16, no more than five in-season trades occurred. Eight and nine transpired in 2017 and ’18, respectively, per The Athletic. Over the past five years, no fewer than 12 in-season trades have commenced. This year brought 15, and 22 teams were involved in trades in each of the past two seasons.

A half-measure of a one-week bump, to correspond with the increase to a 17-game/18-week campaign, would make sense for the NFL. After last year featured a record 10 trades on deadline day, multiple teams reached out to the league office about the prospect of moving the deadline back. Nothing came of it, and as of now, it looks like 2024 will bring the same format. Buyers and sellers will again need to assess their rosters and contention viability by Week 8.

NFL Accuses NFLPA Of Encouraging RBs To Fake Injuries

Nick Chubb being carted to the locker room against the Steelers on Monday night highlights the importance of running backs securing guaranteed money, but this offseason brought an effective crash of the position’s market, leaving it in an unstable place. The fallout from the franchise tag deadline led to running backs meeting about the state of their position. That has come up in an NFL grievance.

The league filed a grievance accusing the NFLPA of encouraging backs and other players to fake or embellish injuries to increase their leverage, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. No arbitrator has been assigned to the grievance, one the NFLPA calls “ridiculous and without merit,” per’s Tom Pelissero. This comes after an NFLPA grievance accused owners of colluding to impede efforts for fully guaranteed contracts.

While the NFL’s grievance accuses the NFLPA of violating CBA provisions, Maske adds it does not levy accusations of improper conduct against running backs.

Beginning this past summer and continuing throughout Training Camp, NFL Players Association leadership, including President J.C. Tretter, have become increasingly vocal in advising NFL Players dissatisfied with their current contracts to consider feigning or exaggerating injuries to withhold service as a way to increase their leverage in contract negotiations,” the NFL said in its grievance.

This offseason’s RB market crash included a number of developments. Aaron Jones and Joe Mixon accepting pay cuts sandwiched cap-casualty releases Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook. Austin Ekeler, who remains attached to a contract he has outplayed, did not generate trade interest and returned to the Chargers after receiving a small incentive package. The franchise tag deadline — when Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard did not sign long-term extensions — and the Jonathan Taylor drama headlined one of the most eventful offseasons for a position group in NFL history.

Following the July 17 tag deadline, running backs voiced their disapproval on social media and then met to discuss the fallout in a Zoom meeting. The league alleges Tretter and new NFLPA executive director Lloyd Howell participated in the meeting that included the conveying of the injury strategy, Maske adds. During a podcast appearance in July, Tretter advocated for players to gain as much leverage as they could. Although he stopped short of advocating for backs to fake injuries, the NFLPA president advised players to do what was necessary to maximize leverage.

[The NFLPA’s] conduct is a clear violation of the union’s agreement to use ‘best efforts to faithfully carry out the terms and conditions of the [CBA]’ and ‘to see that the terms and conditions of all NFL Player Contracts are carried out in full by players,” the league’s memo reads. “The union’s conduct is also reckless as any player that chooses to follow this advice and improperly withhold services under his player contract will be subject to discipline and financial liability under the CBA, Club rules, and/or the player’s contract.”

While running backs have understandably come up, the practice of holding in has been ongoing since the 2020 CBA included language that made holdouts more difficult to wage. A number of players have staged hold-ins and been rewarded. T.J. Hockenson complained of ear and back discomfort during this year’s Vikings training camp; the tight end returned to action after finalizing a lucrative extension. T.J. Watt staged a hold-in during the Steelers’ 2021 training camp, leading to a record-setting extension. Brian Burns took the unusual route of practicing and then stepping away in a hold-in effort late this summer; the Panthers edge rusher returned to practice soon after.

The Taylor matter remains a key talking point. Jim Irsay fired a CBA-driven salvo at running backs who were discussing the position’s future. That drew the ire of Taylor’s camp, and the relationship has deteriorated in the weeks since. Taylor landed on the Colts’ active/PUP list, despite Irsay indicating in July the All-Pro RB was ready to return from the minimally invasive ankle surgery he underwent in January, and his trade request became public soon after.

The Colts engaged in trade talks with teams and are expected to revisit them, but Taylor is out for the season’s first four games while residing on Indianapolis’ reserve/PUP list. Jalen Ramsey used a similar tactic during the 2019 season, asking out of Jacksonville and using an injury excuse to miss time. Once he was dealt to Los Angeles, the All-Pro cornerback returned to action.

Chubb participated in that Zoom call, as did Barkley. Both players suffered injuries in Week 2. Chubb’s $12.2MM-per-year contract — the most recent eight-figure-per-year deal given to a back, which he and the Browns agreed to in July 2021 — runs through 2024. Barkley joins Jacobs, Ekeler and Pollard in being 2024 UFAs.

Key Dates Remaining On 2023 NFL Calendar

The NFL recently announced important dates for the remainder of 2023. Here are the dates to file away:

  • Deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions: 3pm CT, July 17
  • Roster cutdown from 90 to 53 players: 3pm CT, August 29
  • Post-cutdown waiver claims due: 11am CT, August 30
  • Fall owners’ meetings: October 17-18
  • NFL trade deadline: 3pm CT, October 31
  • Vested veterans, if cut, become subject to waivers: November 1
  • Deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign tenders: 3pm CT, November 14

Two of the six players tagged this year — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne — has reached an extension agreement. Tony Pollard is the only other player to sign his franchise tender. Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Evan Engram have not put pen to paper yet. Pollard, Barkley, Engram and Jacobs will have until July 17 to sign extensions. Absent any deals by July 17, these players must wait until January 2024 to resume negotiations. Teams are still permitted to trade tagged players after July 17, but only if they have signed their tender.

After revisiting the three-tiered cutdown structure over the past two years, the NFL will opt for a late-August transaction flurry. Rather than having teams trim their rosters from 90 to 85 players and then from 85 to 80 and 80 to 53, the league will reintroduce the 90-to-53 cut.

While rumors of the NFL considering moving the trade deadline back from its usual spot — the Tuesday after Week 8 — it is sticking with its modern setup. The rumored talks were to included dialogue about moving the deadline back one or two weeks, seeing as the league has extended its season by a week since slotting the trade date post-Week 8 back in 2012. Major League Baseball and the NBA have their respective trade deadlines beyond the midseason point, but the NFL will stick with its date just before that juncture.

Any vested veteran released before Nov. 1 will pass straight to free agency, which separates this class of player from those without required service time. However, all cuts will be grouped together — with players of any experience level subject to the waiver wire if cut — from Nov. 1 through season’s end.

If Barkley, Jacobs and Engram do not sign their respective tenders by Nov. 14, they will be ineligible to play in 2023. Only one player this century — Le’Veon Bell (2018) — has taken this route, though two did so in the 1990s — Washington defensive lineman Sean Gilbert (1997) and Kansas City D-lineman Dan Williams (’98).

NFL Brings Back Emergency Third QB Rule

After Brock Purdy‘s injury effectively removed any drama regarding the NFC championship game’s outcome, the NFL will allow teams a notable protection measure against the kind of situation the 49ers ran into in January.

The league will now allow teams to dress an emergency third quarterback, approving a proposal to bring this rule back Monday, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Teams usually dress only two quarterbacks, allowing an extra roster spot for another player — one more likely to be needed — as part of their 48-man gameday contingent. A wrinkle to this arrangement will be reintroduced this coming season.

For a team to be able to use its emergency quarterback, the first two must be physically unable to play. Teams will not be able to stash a third quarterback on their roster and turn to him in a benching scenario involving either of its top QBs, Field Yates of adds (via Twitter).

Additionally, all emergency QBs must be on teams’ active rosters. None can be summoned from practice squads during a game. Teams will, however, be able to designate their emergency passer 90 minutes before kickoff. Should one of the team’s top two QBs be deemed healthy enough to return to a game, the emergency QB must be yanked.

Teams, of course, could have still dressed a third quarterback under the previous format. But clubs generally steered against doing so in order to better protect themselves against injuries at other positions depleting depth charts. Active rosters can include up to 55 players on gamedays, with teams being able to bump two up from the practice squad each week. Third-string quarterbacks are often part of the 55-man contingent but are regularly among the seven who do not dress for games. Some teams only carry two QBs on their active roster. That will need to change if a franchise wants to take advantage of this emergency protection measure.

This became a problem for the 49ers, who saw Purdy suffer a torn UCL during the first quarter of the NFC title game. That injury summoned journeyman Josh Johnson, whom the 49ers signed off the Broncos’ practice squad in the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo‘s December foot fracture. Johnson, who served as Purdy’s backup down the stretch, suffered a third-quarter concussion that brought a compromised Purdy back into the game. The 49ers not dressing a third QB led to them essentially playing out the string, with Purdy repeatedly handing off or throwing short passes in the Eagles’ blowout win.

The 49ers lost four QBs to injury last season. Trey Lance‘s fractured ankle in Week 2 began the team down this path, one that turned out to affect the entire NFL for the 2023 season. The league allowed teams this flexibility from 1991-2010, but the past two CBAs did not include the rule. One team’s historic injury run at the sport’s marquee position will lead to a mid-CBA amendment.