What Does Waived Mean in Football?

In the National Football League, a waived player is one who has been cut from his team but has fewer than four years of service in the league. Players who have served for more than four years are also waived if they are cut after the midseason trade deadline.

Once waived, players can be signed by other teams. The waiver period begins immediately following the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the NFL season, and first-choice opportunities for waived players are given in reverse order to the previous season's team standings. Veteran players who are cut prior to the trade deadline are not put on waivers, but instead become free agents, and are permitted to sign with the club of their choice.