NFC West: waivers
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Chris from Denver writes: Mike, looking at the Cardinals' schedule, it sets up perfectly for them to leave the month of September 4-0. They will beat Fish on Sunday. Washington will not be formidable and the Jets at home is quite winnable. What do you think? Have you changed your mind on 8-8 year? I'm saying 9-7 or 10-6.
Mike Sando: Remember, that Jets game is a road game for the Cardinals. The team will stay on the East Coast between the Redskins and Jets games. I think 3-1 sets up more realistically than 4-0. And I still think the second half of the schedule presents challenges. I'm not coming off 8-8 just yet, but neither would I discount your optimism.
Let's say the Cardinals start 3-1. They then return home for potentially tough games against Buffalo and Dallas, followed by a trip to Carolina.
Myles from Louisiana writes: Assuming your prediction about [Seahawks rookie kicker Brandon] Coutu being valued enough to waive player(s) who had a chance to contribute now (i.e. the Colts new punt/kick returner). If [veteran kicker Olindo] Mare doesn't miss any kicks he should make AND continues to be the one competent member of special teams, how can the front office send him packing for the rook? It doesn't seem possible to be in more urgent need of roster spots now and they haven't made a move, is there a chance this continues a ways into the season? And if so is that a failing of the front office?
Mike Sando: For the record, I wasn't saying I agreed with the rationale behind the Seahawks' decision to keep two kickers. I sought to explain the reasoning. The question you raise is a very good one. I think they'll have to release Coutu at some point, particularly if the injuries continue to mount, although carrying Coutu becomes easier once Deion Branch and Bobby Engram return. At that point, the Seahawks could cut back their numbers at receiver and have an easier time carrying an extra kicker.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Richard from New York writes: Mike, apologies if you've covered this during the preseason, but could you explain again how waivers work? Doesn't this mean that another team could sign the player? Why would a team "waive" one of its draft picks so early on (e.g., Seahawks/Forsett)? I thought Forsett was signed to a multiyear deal?
Mike Sando: Not a problem, Richard. It's a good question and something we should brush up on every so often.
Late-round draft choices fail to earn roster spots somewhat routinely. Justin Forsett was a seventh-round choice. NFL teams drafted 80 players in the sixth and seventh rounds this season. Half those players were not on 53-man rosters as of midweek.
Contracts can include guaranteed money, but the contracts themselves are not guaranteed. An NFL team can terminate a veteran's contract, making the player eligible to sign a new contract with another team.
Nonveterans can be waived. Another team can file a waiver claim. If more than one team claims a player, the team with the worst record in the previous season prevails. The league then awards the waived player to the claiming team. The claiming team inherits the waived player's contract.