The Falcons released their initial 53-man roster, and I emphasize initial because this won’t be the group that is suiting up for the season opener against the Eagles. That is because of the NFL’s waiver wire, which will result in some reshuffling Wednesday. There are some things I must clarify before listing a few Falcons who could find themselves replaced.
The NFL’s waiver wire order is the same as the original 2021 NFL draft order. So… 1. Jaguars, 2. Jets, 3. Texans, 4. Falcons, 5. Bengals, 6. Eagles, 7. Lions, 8. Panthers, 9. Broncos, 10. Cowboys, etc. If the Falcons put in five claims, they’re going to get all five players — teams don’t lose priority after making a claim. Another confusing topic is the difference between waive and release, which aren’t interchangeable.
When a team cuts a player, they either waive or release them. A player with less than four accrued seasons is waived; a player with four or more accrued seasons is released. In the simplest terms, an accrued season is a year in which a player spends at least six weeks on a team’s 53-man roster.
When a player is waived, their contract isn’t terminated, and they go on the waiver wire where teams put in a claim for them. If a team claims them, the player will join the new team on his current contract. If no team claims him, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. If a player is released, their contract is terminated, and they can sign anywhere immediately.
Terry Fontenot has made a living off finding gems off the waiver wire or in free agency. I would certainly feel confident saying there will be changes made before the Eagles game, given Fontenot’s pro personnel background. With all that being said, here are a few members of the current 53-man roster that might not be a part of it before the season opener.
Here are a few waiver wire targets (and free agents) for the Falcons: