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How do NFL waiver signings work?

A brief explanation on the waiver wire and how it affects the Chargers.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you are keeping up with your favorite Chargers player that was just waived or you are looking out for a new welcomed addition to the team, best bet is that the waiver wire will be where all those transactions will occur today. What is the waiver wire? How does it work? As far as you know, the waiver wire is how you pick up your players in fantasy football once you've gone through your draft. This article will briefly explain how the waiver wire will affect the Chargers and the waiver wire process.

The league-wide roster cuts mean there is potential talent for the Chargers to sign to fill voids on their roster. The waiver wire process that the player will have to run through is different from the trade process and has a few variables that will affect how the Chargers acquire the additional players. To make it simple, to a degree, it works like fantasy football waiver wires. The waiver wire period has been running from the first business day after the Super Bowl until the end of the NFL's regular season.

It should be noted that once a team waives any player, that team cannot just change its mind and take the player back or change the player's status, barring any special circumstances. Like the waivers we know from fantasy football, once a team waives a player, he is up for grabs by the rest of the league. This is where the waiver wire order really matters. Clubs are assigned rights to players based on the waiver wire order, which is similar to the draft order seen in this year's NFL Draft. The Chargers will have the third highest priority on the wire waiver.

The waiver wire and the order of priority will only affect those players that are acquired through the waiver wire. Players that are not subject to the waiver wire are veterans who have acquired four years of "pension credit." Players who fall into this category are exempt from the waiver wire and the league considers his contract to be immediately terminated and is free to sign with any other club.

However, from the end of the trade deadline until the end of the regular season, these veterans are subject to the waiver process. The four-year pension credit explained earlier will exempt the veteran players only up to the point of the trade deadline, so it is important to pay attention to the amount of "pension credit" that a player has accrued and the point in time that they are waived/acquired.

The waiver wire is a process that can be tedious and detailed, but important for each team. For a more detailed explanation of the waiver wire and how it works, the NFL Football Operations page is a good place to start. Just know that the Chargers are in a good spot with the third highest priority in the waiver order. We will keep you posted on the Chargers' transactions and waiver acquisitions.