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When NFL teams have to cut down their rosters from 90 to 85 to 80 to 53

NFL rosters will be shaped into the regular season 53-man roster over the coming weeks. We break down key dates on the calendar.

A general view of an NFL ball on the field during a Washington Football Team OTA at Inova Sports Performance Center. Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 NFL preseason is officially underway as teams assess their rosters and figure out who can help them win a championship. Teams will play three preseason games and over the course of that schedule they will have to make multiple cuts to their roster.

The first roster cut comes following Week 1 of the preseason. On Tuesday, August 17, teams have until 4 p.m. ET to cut their roster down from 90 players to 85 players. The final game of the first preseason week is on Sunday, August 15.

The second roster cut comes following Week 2 of the preseason. On Tuesday, August 24, teams have until 4 p.m. ET to cut their roster down from 85 players to 80 players. The final game of the second preseason week is on Monday, August 23.

The third and final roster cut comes following Week 3 of the preseason. On Tuesday, August 31, teams have until 4 p.m. ET to cut their roster down from 80 players to 53 players. The final game of the third preseason week is on Sunday, August 29.

The day after final roster cuts, Wednesday, September 1, teams have until 4 p.m. ET to place waiver claims on any available players after teams cut down to 53 players. Waiver claims are based on order of 2020 records, which means the Jacksonville Jaguars have the top waiver priority.

Once waiver claims wrap, teams can begin signing players their 16-player practice squads.