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2019 Patriots roster cuts: How does the waiver wire work and what does it mean for New England?

Everything you need to know about the NFL’s waiver wire following 53-man cuts.

NFL: AUG 22 Preseason - Panthers at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As part of their roster cutdowns, the New England Patriots parted ways with an array of players over the last two days. However, not all cuts are the same as the NFL differentiates between veterans and less experienced players: If a player has less than four accrued seasons — more on that in a moment — on his résumé, he will not hit the open market right away but instead has to go through the waiver wire.

So, what exactly does this mean? Let’s find out.

How does the NFL’s waiver wire work?

The waiver wire allows teams to submit claims for younger players that have previously been cut by other teams. Organizations usually have 24 hours to submit claims but this window is shorter over the NFL’s cutdown weekend: With final cuts taking place at 4 p.m. ET yesterday, teams only have until 12 p.m. today to submit claims to a players rights. If a player gets claimed, he joins a team’s 53-man active roster.

What’s the waiver claim order?

For the first three weeks of the season, teams submit claims based on the draft order. The worst team in the league last year is the first able to put in a claim, with the Patriots coming in at number 32 after winning the Super Bowl:

1. Arizona Cardinals

2. San Francisco 49ers

3. New York Jets

4. Oakland Raiders

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6. New York Giants

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

8. Detroit Lions

9. Buffalo Bills

10. Denver Broncos

11. Cincinnati Bengals

12. Green Bay Packers

13. Miami Dolphins

14. Atlanta Falcons

15. Washington Redskins

16. Carolina Panthers

17. Cleveland Browns

18. Minnesota Vikings

19. Tennessee Titans

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

21. Seattle Seahawks

22. Baltimore Ravens

23. Houston Texans

24. Chicago Bears

25. Philadelphia Eagles

26. Indianapolis Colts

27. Dallas Cowboys

28. Los Angeles Chargers

29. Kansas City Chiefs

30. New Orleans Saints

31. Los Angeles Rams

32. New England Patriots

A player gets awarded to a team based on the ranking: If the Rams and Patriots, for example, are the only teams to submit a claim for a player, he joins Los Angeles given the team’s higher ranking.

Who is placed on waivers?

As noted above, players with less than four accrued seasons need to pass through the waiver wire in order to hit ‘regular’ unrestricted free agency. The NFL defines an accrued season as six or more games on either a team’s 53-man roster, or on injured reserve, or on the physically unable to perform list. All qualifying players released yesterday have hit the waiver wire and are subject to being claimed by other teams.

Which Patriots have hit the waiver wire?

The following is a list of recent Patriots who are now subject to waivers:

TE Stephen Anderson

TE Andrew Beck

WR Braxton Berrios

RB Nick Brossette

OT Cole Croston

WR Ryan Davis

C Tyler Gauthier

LB Terez Hall

DE Trent Harris

S A.J. Howard

OT Martez Ivey

FB Jakob Johnson

DE Ufomba Kamalu

OT Cedrick Lang

LB Calvin Munson

WR Damoun Patterson

LB Christian Sam

TE Eric Saubert

OT Dan Skipper

OT Tyree St. Louis

DT Nick Thurman

CB Ken Webster

LB Scooby Wright III

Over the previous two Labor Day weekends, New England saw seven players claimed off waivers by organizations around the league. But practice squads became the avenue for the majority who weren’t.

Which Patriots have not hit the waiver wire?

Those with more than four accrued seasons will not have to go through the waiver system. In New England’s case, there are four vested veterans who were released on Saturday:

C James Ferentz

QB Brian Hoyer

DT David Parry

WR Demaryius Thomas

All four players listed above are now cleared to catch on with another team — or potentially with the Patriots again.