NFL Cut Dates: When are Preseason rosters trimmed?

When are NFL roster cuts and what are teams required to do to be roster compliant before the start of the 2024 season?
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

There's no day on the NFL calendar more nerve-racking for most players than NFL roster cutdown day. After players are given roughly four weeks and three preseason games to prove themselves, NFL teams will purge approximately 40 percent of their 90-man summer roster to finalize their 53-man roster for the regular season.

In the past, NFL roster cuts came in waves. A series of cut dates required every team to trim their roster from 90 to 85 players, 85 to 80 players, and a third round of cuts that forced teams to get down to their final 53.

Those days are in the past.

Nowadays, teams must cut their roster from 90 to 53 players in one fell swoop, like ripping off a bandaid. So when are NFL roster cuts in 2024 and what other important dates are coming up on the NFL calendar?

When Is the NFL's Final Cutdown Date?

Ahead of the 2024 NFL season, every team will be required to cut their roster down to down to a maximum of 53 players on the active/inactive list by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 27. This comes just two days after the conclusion of the 2024 preseason.

Hundreds of players will be hitting the waiver wire and free agency all at once. This is sure to create mass shuffling on the bottom of rosters across the league.

The first game of the regular season takes place on September 5 between the Chiefs and the Ravens on Thursday Night Football, and teams will want to have their rosters finalized heading into the 2024 regular season.

Once rosters are finalized, teams are still permitted to make transactions before and after the season opens. However, they must stay roster compliant and they may not exceed 53 active/inactive players on their roster. Players who fall short of cracking an NFL roster in 2024 will look to land on a team's 16-man practice squad.

Other important upcoming dates on the NFL calendar

Here are some other important dates to note on the 2024 NFL calendar between now and the start of the regular season.



July 15

Franchise Player Contract Deadline

July 17-24

Teams Begin Training Camp

August 1

Hall of Fame Game (Texans vs. Bears)

August 8-11

First Preseason Weekend

August 15-18

Second Preseason Weekend

August 22-25

Third Preseason Weekend

August 27

Final Cut Day

September 4

All Teams Must Be Salary Cap Compliant

September 5

NFL Opening Night (Ravens vs. Chiefs)