ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday afternoon that NFL teams are likely to bring fewer than the usual 90 players they ordinarily bring to training camp. Schefter said that one source is prediction 80 per team, while another predicted 75 per team, but no one is expecting 90. Schefter said the reason for fewer players on the roster is in an effort to combat COVID-19. The NFL continues to dance through hoops to avoid postponing the season. I’ve seen people tweet, “there isn’t much of a difference between players 70 through 90,” which is ignoring 10-15 players no longer having an opportunity to make the team.
Imagine last year if the 49ers decided against bringing Daniel Brunskill, Emmanuel Moseley, or a player that contributed to the roster’s back-end. Eighty was the size of training camp rosters before they were expanded to 90 in 2012, so that number would make sense. Before the elimination of the “first round of training camp cuts” in 2017, teams went from 90 to 75 players. Trimming down to either figure wouldn’t be new for the NFL, it’s just taking a step back from where we are today. With fewer numbers, you miss out on the Matt Breida’s of the world.