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Why this cutdown won't be much different than the rest


Basic math makes the process seem potentially overwhelming: 32 teams trimming 37 roster spots equals 1,184 players up for grabs.

But as fun as roster redos may seem, don't expect this weekend to turn into some sort of waiver wire armageddon.

Sure, this is the first time we've seen teams skip what used to be the traditional cutdown period – when they trimmed from 90 guys to 75 before the final preseason game. But it's not like front offices aren't ready for Saturday's surge, when 90-man rosters are chopped all the way down to 53.

Front offices and scouts have lists prepared just like they always have. It's just this year, more players get to audition in a fourth preseason game, which allows teams more flexibility to sit out starters and key backups.

Here's some more math.

Imagine the Panthers have their eyes on 50 bubble players on other rosters.

Because those guys have shown promise in the preseason, the majority of them won't become available. But let's say 15 are released.

The Panthers aren't going to put in 15 claims. They'd be in real trouble if they needed to turn over that much of the roster. So, for this example, let's pretend they put in five claims. Because the waiver order is the same as the draft order, the Panthers are sitting in the eighth spot – a decent position to get a guy or two out of the five. While they'd like to shore up depth in multiple spots – namely the secondary – there's only so many Band-Aids to go around.

And remember, the majority of teams won't be cutting high-quality starters and backups. Plus, successful claims this weekend are players who will have to learn a new system. That's not to say they can't help eventually, but even with Saturday's free agent influx ahead, expectations for moves this time of year always need to be tempered.

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