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How many players are on an NFL team?

How many players are there on an NFL team? That depends on the time of year…

How many players are on an NFL team?

During the regular season there are 53 players on every NFL team. This is known as the “53 man roster.” These are the 53 players that are employed full-time by their team, and who ideally will play a full season. Only 47-48 of those players dress for games, however. For every game, 7-8 players on the 53 man roster will be designated as “inactive.” This means that they are not in pads and cannot enter the game that day.

However, before the season, there are 90 players on every NFL team. This is called the “90 man roster.” Teams enter training camp with the 90 man roster and use training camp and preseason games to cut their rosters down to 53 players. This process of roster cuts happens over the 4-6 weeks that training camp lasts. In other words, NFL teams cut their roster size by close to 40 players during training camp and the preseason. Then, on game days, even fewer are allowed to actually play.

To learn more about the NFL, visit our NFL homepage here!

What is Training Camp?

NFL training camp is when teams begin practicing full-time for the upcoming season. Learn more about it here!

NFL Training Camp

Training camp is when NFL teams begin practice on a full-time basis for the upcoming season. Training camp typically begins in late July, and lasts until the start of the regular season in the beginning of September. Training camp is the start of every team’s season, and is a massively important time in the NFL calendar.

Roster cuts

Training camp is important for players because they’re competing to earn roster spots. Teams enter training camp with a 90 man roster. By the end of training camp, teams must cut down to a 53 man roster. This means that nearly 40 players on every team will lose their job during training camp. This fosters a highly competitive environment where all players are fighting to earn their spot for the upcoming season.

When is training camp?

Training camp begins in late July and lasts through August. It happens around the same time as the NFL Preseason. The preseason is a series of exhibition games for NFL teams to prepare for the season. These games do not count officially; they’re “practice games” to help teams make roster cut decisions and practice for regular season games in September. Training camp lasts for about 4-6 weeks.

Read more about the NFL season by visiting our NFL homepage here!

Hall of Fame Game

The Hall of Fame Game is the first NFL game of every season. It’s a preseason game that takes place at the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s a stand-alone event that holds a unique place in the sport of football.

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What is the Hall of Fame Game?

Where is the Hall of Fame Game played?

Who plays in the Hall of Fame Game?

What is the Hall of Fame Game?

The Hall of Fame Game is the first NFL game of every season. It is a preseason game that has no bearing on the regular season and playoffs. It is an exhibition that takes place after the start of training camp, and is a tune-up for the two teams playing.

While the Hall of Fame Game is a mere exhibition, it has significance for two main reasons:

First, it is played in honor of each year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class. It is played at the same time that that year’s Hall of Fame class is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It honors the group of 7 former pro football players, coaches, executives, or owners who entered “the hall” that calendar year.

Second, the game is important for young football players trying to make their respective teams. While many starters and veteran players do not play in the game, the younger players that do have a lot on the line; they are competing against each other to make an NFL roster. Many of the players who play in the game will be cut by their teams, and many will be playing in one of their only NFL games. It is a golden opportunity for those players to earn their way onto an NFL roster.

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Where is the Hall of Fame Game played?

The Hall of Fame Game is played in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The game, and stadium, are directly next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Who Plays in the Hall of Fame Game?

Two NFL teams play in the Hall of Fame Game each year. The teams that play are randomly chosen before the season. These teams get an extra preseason game than every other NFL team. The Hall of Fame Game is a stand-alone exhibition that gives each of the two teams selected an additional preseason game. This is valuable playing time for young players trying to make their team.

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NFL Scouting Combine

The NFL Scouting Combine is a try-out for college football players. All NFL teams assemble to evaluate college players through a series of drills. Learn more about the Combine here.

What is the NFL Scouting Combine?

The NFL Scouting Combine is a “try-out” of sorts for college football players. It is a chance for college football players to demonstrate their skills and physical attributes for NFL scouts. All NFL teams attend the scouting combine, which has historically taken place in Indianapolis. While the location of the Scouting Combine may change in the future, Indianapolis has become synonymous with “The Combine” as an annual event. The Combine takes place in the offseason before the NFL Draft.

The NFL Scouting Combine serves a secondary, unwritten purpose. It is a wonderful opportunity for NFL teams to share intel and negotiate deals with one another. It is one of the few events of the NFL year that brings the executives and coaches for all teams to one location. On top of evaluating college players, the Combine creates a great deal of intrigue around possible trades and maneuvers between franchises.

Super Bowl 56

The LA Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl 56. The game was played at SoFi Stadium in southern California. Cooper Kupp was named Super Bowl MVP.

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Who won Super Bowl 56?

Who won Super Bowl 56 MVP?

Who played in Super Bowl 56?

Where was Super Bowl 56?

Who coached in Super Bowl 56?

Who was the Super Bowl 56 referee?

Who won Super Bowl 56?

The LA Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl 56.

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Who won Super Bowl 56 MVP?

Cooper Kupp was named the MVP of Super Bowl 56.

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Who played in Super Bowl 56?

The LA Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI. The Rams captured their second Super Bowl in franchise history, while the Bengals, an original AFL team, have still never won a Super Bowl.

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Where was Super Bowl 56?

Super Bowl 56 was in southern California. The game took place at SoFi Stadium, the shared home of the LA Rams and LA Chargers. The Super Bowl is technically a “neutral site” game, with the location being determined years in advance of the actual game. However, coincidentally, the Rams played in their home stadium.

The Rams are only the second team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl on their home turf. The first team was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020-21, who won Super Bowl 55 on their home field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Teams that play in their home stadium are 2-0 in Super Bowl history.

This was the first Super Bowl played at SoFi Stadium. However, southern California has hosted numerous Super Bowls throughout the years; in fact, Los Angeles was the host of the first Super Bowl in 1967 at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

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Who coached in Super Bowl 56?

The NFC was represented by Sean McVay of the Rams and the AFC was represented by Zac Taylor of the Bengals.

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Who was the referee for Super Bowl 56?

Ron Torbert was the referee for Super Bowl 56. The other members of the officiating crew for Super Bowl LVI were:

  • Umpire: Bryan Neale
  • Down Judge: Derick Bowers
  • Line Judge: Carl Johnson
  • Field Judge: Rick Patterson
  • Side Judge: Keith Washington
  • Back Judge: Scott Helverson
  • Replay Official: Roddy Ames

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College Football Recruiting: how it works

Recruiting is the process of acquiring players in college football. It is a key element of the sport. Recruiting involves both high school football players and transfer portal players.

College Football Recruiting

Recruiting in college football is a key element of the sport. Recruiting is simply the process of acquiring players. It is the process where college football coaches and staff members offer scholarships to players that they want on their team, and subsequently try to convince those players to enroll at their school.

Recruiting involves high school football players and transfer players. High school players are new to college football and are seeking to enroll in their first school. Transfer players are established college football players looking to move on to a new school. Transfer players use the transfer portal to change schools.

Recruiting Staffs for College Football Teams

College football teams have staff members specifically for recruiting. Some schools have much larger recruiting staffs than others, which usually leads to much better recruiting results. Schools with larger budgets and more resources are typically the schools with the largest recruiting staffs.

Recruiting staffs do everything from scouting players, reaching out to those players, organizing visits and phone calls, and convincing players to sign with their schools. Coaches are often recruiters as well, in addition to their coaching responsibilities.

How has NIL affected Recruiting?

Name, image, and likeness (NIL) has to do with the ability of college football players to earn money from sponsorships and other advertising opportunities. Name, image, and likeness has had a significant impact on recruiting since the NCAA lifted its NIL ban in 2021. Coaches cannot directly offer NIL deals to recruits; however, recruits are now commonly being promised various advertising dollars in exchange for their commitment.

There is little governance in college football around recruiting and NIL. College football recruiting has changed dramatically as a result of NIL, and the full consequences have yet to be realized. Many coaches are calling for rules to be put in place about the future of NIL and how it relates to the recruiting process.

Recruiting Rankings

High school recruits and transfer portal players are given rankings based on their skillset and physical attributes. There are multiple outlets that rank recruits, including: 247Sports, Rivals.com, and ESPN. Recruiting rankings are very good indicators of how much talent a school has on their roster. Teams that are selected for the College Football Playoff typically have recruited top classes for years leading up to their on-the-field success.

What was the AFL?

The AFL, the American Football League, was a pro football league that merged into the NFL in 1970. It made a lasting impact on football, including the formation of the Super Bowl and the modern AFC conference in the NFL.

The AFL (American Football League)

The AFL was a pro football league in the United States that was founded in 1959. The AFL played its first season in 1960. It began with 8 teams but grew to 10 teams by the time it merged with the NFL in 1970.

The Super Bowl began as a championship game between the winner of the AFL and the winner of the NFL. A few years after the first Super Bowl, the AFL officially merged into the NFL. The teams of the AFL formed what is now known as the AFC (American Football Conference), one of the two conferences in the modern NFL.

What teams were in the AFL?

The 10 teams from the AFL that would go on to join the NFL were the:
  • Kansas City Chiefs (formerly the “Dallas Texans”)
  • Denver Broncos
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Boston Patriots (now the “New England” Patriots)
  • Houston Oilers (now the “Tennessee Titans”)
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New York Jets
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Oakland Raiders (now the “Las Vegas” Raiders)

What is the Transfer Portal?

The transfer portal is the system that allows college football players to change schools. It is a database that lists all players who intend to transfer, signaling to other schools that they can reach out to those players. It is the medium by which college football players transfer from one school to another.

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What is the transfer portal?

How often can players transfer?

When was the transfer portal created?

What were the old transfer rules?

What is the Transfer Portal?

The transfer portal is the system that allows college football players to change schools. It is a database that lists all players who intend to transfer, signaling to other schools that they can reach out to those players. It is the medium by which college football players transfer from one school to another.

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How many times can college football players transfer?

Undergraduate students can transfer one time to any school with no strings attached. Graduate students can transfer with no strings attached, as well. The NCAA rules on transferring and eligibility changed in 2021. Graduate students previously were allowed to transfer and play immediately; however, undergraduate students who transferred used to have to sit out for one year before they could play for their new school. That is no longer the case.

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When was the transfer portal created?

The transfer portal was created in 2018. Its goal is to provide a centralized place for schools to monitor transfer students. It created a single system for players to give notice that they intend to transfer, and for schools to be able to reach out to those players.

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What were the old transfer rules?

Prior to 2021, college football players had to sit out for one year if they transferred schools. Graduate students were exempt from this rule. Graduate students were allowed to transfer schools and play immediately. In 2021, the NCAA changed the transfer rules to expand this exception to undergraduate students. Undergrads can now transfer once and be eligible to play immediately, too.

Prior to 2021, if an undergraduate player transferred schools, they had to sit out for a year or request a waiver. A waiver allowed a college football player to be immediately eligible if they met certain criteria that were arbitrarily enforced. The NCAA did not apply waivers in a consistent manner. Given the new rule change to allow one transfer with immediate eligibility, that problem has largely been solved.

The change in transfer rules came around the same time as the change to name, image, and likeness rules in college football. When considering these two significant changes, and seismic conference realignment sparked by Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC, 2021 proved to be a watershed moment for college football.

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What is NIL? Name, Image, and Likeness

NIL stands for “name, image, and likeness.” It has to do with the ability of college athletes to earn money from sponsorship deals and other advertising dollars. Until recently, it was illegal under NCAA rules.

What does NIL mean?

“NIL” stands for “name, image, and likeness.” It has to do with the ability of college athletes to earn money from their “name, image, and likeness.” In other words, college athletes can accept sponsorship deals, and other advertising dollars. 

NIL is significant because college athletes are otherwise unpaid. They are compensated for their skills and labor with scholarships for tuition, as well as other school-related benefits such as dining dollars, housing assistance, and more. NIL is a way for college students to earn additional money on top of their scholarships. 

Supreme Court NCAA Decision

In June of 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling that has the potential to dramatically reshape college football. The case—NCAA vs Alston—raised potential antitrust issues with the NCAA. The Court ruled that the NCAA cannot prevent students from receiving benefits related to education. The Court argued that the NCAA was seeking exemption from normal antitrust laws—and that they would not be granted it.

The Alston ruling opened up NIL in college athletics

After the Alson ruling in 2021, the NCAA changed its longstanding policy that outlawed players earning money from their name, image, and likeness.

Prior to the NCAA vs. Alston Supreme Court case, college athletes could not earn money from their NIL. The NCAA forbid it. However, the Supreme Court case has had a dramatic impact. This rule change came in large part due to the pressure that the Alston ruling placed on the NCAA as a potential violator of antitrust laws.

The NCAA has become a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and it is the only system that college football players can compete under. At the same time, it has not paid any of its athletes. College athletes are highly skilled individuals; they are of legal age to work in the United States; and they dedicate significant time and labor that generates massive revenue for the NCAA.

While the Alston Supreme Court case did not rule on college athletes being directly paid, it did prompt the NCAA to change its NIL rules. It also opens the door for more cases. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the concurring opinion that signals that the Court will rule similarly in future cases against the NCAA. As a result, the NCAA is under significant pressure to change course. One of the consequences of that is that players are allowed to monetize their NIL—and begin to earn some compensation for their skills and labor.

So Can College Athletes Make Money?

Yes, as of 2021, college athletes can now earn money from their name, image, and likeness. College athletics has historically been an “amateur” competition. The NCAA used this term, “amateur,” to argue that athletes should not be compensated for their skills and labor. That facade is starting to crumble with the Alston case and NIL rule change.

How the NCAA handles NIL

Before the NIL rule change, some states in 2021 were already planning to allow college athletes to monetize their personal brands in their state. There were several states, such as South Carolina and Florida, that were set to make NIL legal for college athletes in July of 2021. That—combined with the June, 2021, Alston ruling—forced the NCAA’s hand; change had to come.

The Boston Game: Origins of Football

The rules of the Boston game in 1874 made some of the most important evolutions in the history of football, and created several of the rules that made American football distinct from rugby and soccer.

What was the “Boston Game”?

The Boston game was a variation of early American football. Rules of the Boston game allowed players to pick up the football and carry it, and established the 11-man team. The Boston game rules came about in 1874.

The first football game ever played in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton was, in essence, soccer. It was played with 25-man teams; players could only kick the ball to advance it, and the objective was to kick the ball into the opposing team’s goal.

The first football game in 1869 hardly resembled football as we know it today. But after the first game, which marked the first college football season, the sport began to evolve quickly. In 1874, McGill University in Montreal invited Harvard to play them in football with new rules that appealed to the Harvard players. These rules formed the basis for the “Boston game.”

What were the rules of the Boston game?

The rules of the Boston game called for smaller teams, allowed players to pick up the ball and run to advance it, and introduced non-continuous play. It also allowed scoring by “tries” (which later became known as the “touchdown”), where teams could score by moving the football past the other team’s goal line.1 Players in the Boston game could still kick the ball to advance it; however, the idea that a player could carry the ball and run with it to move down the field was brand new and caught on quickly.

When the player carrying the ball was tackled, play was stopped (non-continuous gameplay). A rugby-like scrum would then ensue where either team could gain possession of the ball. These rules came to dominate football until 1881 when Walter Camp invented the line of scrimmage. The line of scrimmage got rid of the rugby-like scrum when the ball carrier was tackled, and guaranteed the offense possession of the football after they were tackled.

1875 Harvard vs Tufts College Football Game

The first college football game to play with the rules of the Boston game was between Harvard and Tufts in 1875. This is the first instance in American football where two colleges played with 11-man teams, and allowed players to carry and run with the ball. It is also the first instance in college football of teams being able to score by moving the football past the other team’s goal line (scoring a “try”).

Tufts has claimed that this was the actual first football game ever played.2 Their claim is based on the fact that the 1869 Rutgers vs Princeton game more closely resembled soccer. Tufts has argued that the 1875 Harvard vs Tufts football game was the first instance when American football took on a distinct form away from rugby and soccer due to the drastic rules changes it introduced.

What is the lasting impact of the Boston game?

The Boston game laid the groundwork for the evolution of football into a distinct sport from soccer and rugby. The idea that a player could pick up the ball and advance it was new in the 1870s. The concept of the modern day touchdown and the rule defining the 11-man team in football developed from the Boston game. And the Boston game pioneered the concept of stopping play. Before then, football was played continuously like soccer, with no stoppage of play. These concepts have all become central to modern American football, and all live on to this day.

Sources Cited:

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_history_of_American_football#Harvard%E2%80%93McGill_(1874)

2https://ase.tufts.edu/athletics/old/menFootball/press/2004-2005/firstgamebuzz.html

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