The NFL waiver claim order has changed from the 2016 draft order to the current season’s team rankings.
Guess which team gets last pick?
The waiver wire is an important tool for teams that are looking to bolster the talent on the back-end of the roster. Players in their first four seasons in the league that are released are subject to waivers prior to the trade deadline, which means that every team gets a chance to claim said player. Once the trade deadline passes, all players are subject to waivers.
When a team claims a player, they’ll have to make a corresponding roster to move to free up space, and then they have control of the player under their preexisting contract. The team with the highest waiver priority gets the player, which is why ranking, say, 32nd puts a team at a major disadvantage.
Of course, ranking at the bottom of the waiver priority list means that you’re a good team. The priority list stops being the prior year’s draft order and starts following the present standings after week 3 is complete.
The Patriots just so happen to be tied with five teams for the best record in the NFL, and tied with the Vikings for the hardest strength of schedule, and then have scored way more points than Minnesota.
So the Patriots are in last place in the only ranking where head coach Bill Belichick wants to be in last.
Below is the order courtesy of Field Yates.