As for deadline to cut a player before you get hit with the 1 year penalty though, I read it:
Eearlier in the rules page, it was stated the "in season" starts the day before the first game of the NFL season. Shouldn't "In season" = "the season." So the final day to make cuts without a penalty should be the day before the 1st game of the season."If a team waives a player during the season, the franchise gets credit for the player's remaining contract years, minus the current year."
"In-Season-- In-Season FA bidding rules take effect for new bids the day of the first game of the NFL regular season. "
I have several FA bids out at the moment that won't close for almost a week. Doesn't seem fair to those people who are trying to make FA acquistions that they MUST either:
A) roster 17 or fewer players before the bid ends in order to avoid a contract penalty when signing the FA after the thursday deadline.
B) roster 18 players at the time of the thurdays deadline, and then proceed to cut an existing contract at the time of the winning bid and take a penalty against the cap.
The vague penalty (noexistant) wording regarding having less than 18 players rostered by thursday creates confusion regarding how "you must have a FA bid open if you have 17 players under contract" will work out if you lose the bid, etc.
The one week FA period should go hand in hand with the deadline for declaring contracts IMO. So either the contract deadlines should change, or the FA bidding should change.
Mike Bell's contract has been ongoing for several weeks now and it is now to the point where no one will be able to roster him without taking a hit on their contracts unless they prematurely make a roster cut expecting to win him as a FA. That may still be the case on the day before the start of the season as well. Doesn't seem right.