and what does it mean for New England? As part of their roster cutdowns Derek Rivers Jersey Salute to Service , the New England Patriots parted ways with multiple players over the last two days. However, not all cuts are the same as the NFL differentiates between veterans and less experienced players: if a player has less than four accrued seasons – more on that in a moment – on his , he will not hit the open market right away but instead has to go through the waiver wire.So, what exactly does this mean? Let’s find out.How does the NFL’s waiver wire work?The waiver wire allows teams to submit claims for younger players that have previously been cut by other teams. Organizations usually have 24 hours to submit claims but this window is shorter over the NFL’s cutdown weekend: with final cuts taking place at 4:00 p.m. ET yesterday, teams only have until 12:00 p.m. today to submit claims to a players rights. If a player gets claimed, he joins a team’s 53-man active roster.What’s the waiver claim order?For the first three weeks of the season, teams submit claims based on the draft order. The worst team – in this case the Cleveland Browns – is the first to put in a claim:A player gets awarded to a team based on the ranking: if the Vikings and Patriots, for example, are the only teams to submit a claim for a player, he joins Minnesota given the team’s better ranking.Who is placed on waivers?As noted above, players with less than four accrued seasons need to pass through the waiver wire in order to hit “regular” unrestricted free agency. The NFL defines an accrued season as six or more games on either a team’s 53-man roster, or on injured reserve, or on the physically unable to perform list. All qualifying players released yesterday have hit the waiver wire and are subject to being claimed by other teams.Which Patriots have hit the waiver wire?The following is a list of Patriots that are subject to waivers:Last year, the Patriots saw four of their cuts get claimed on waivers. The majority of players, however Limited Vincent Valentine Jersey , passes through the wire unpicked – and thus becomes ready to get signed to the practice squad.Which Patriots have not hit the waiver wire?As noted, not all released players are subject to waivers. Those with more than four accrued seasons worth of experience will not have to go through the process. In New England’s case, we are speaking of the following six men:All six players listed above are now free to sign with other teams – or the Patriots again, with the exception of Bowanko: as part of his injury settlement, he will now receive pre-negotiated payments by New England for a period that depends on the severity of his injury. However, he cannot be re-signed by the team during that time. Once the settlement period is over, Bowanko is free to join any team’s roster but would have to wait an additional six weeks to join New England’s again. The biggest challenge the New England Patriots defense will face this season already came in week six when the Kansas City Chiefs’ high-flying offense visited Gillette Stadium. However, the Green Bay Packers’ — despite some inconsistency so far this season — cannot be underestimated either and will pose one of the bigger hurdles for the unit to clear this season. In order to do it, the group needs to find a way to accomplish the following three goals.Force Aaron Rodgers to go to his depth targetsAlmost half of the 286 passes Green Bay’s quarterbacks have attempted so far this season were thrown to wide receiver Davante Adams and tight end Jimmy Graham. The duo ranks one and two in most major receiving categories on the Packers offense and naturally should be treated as such: New England needs to find a way to slow the two down and by extension force quarterback Aaron Rodgers to look elsewhere.How can they do that? Having a shutdown cornerback helps, and Stephon Gilmore is just that. He should spend the majority of the night guarding Adams, who leads Green Bay with 52 catches for 690 yards and six touchdowns. While the 25-year old obviously is a tough matchup for any defensive back, Gilmore has shown time and again this year that he is up to the challenge of taking away physically imposing wideouts.Meanwhile, strong safety Patrick Chung should be used on Graham. Like Gilmore, the veteran has had success against elite tight ends this year — think the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce — which makes him a logical defender to guard the big tight end tonight. Taking away Graham and Adams should, in turn Authentic Cyrus Jones Jersey , take Rodgers a bit out of his comfort zone and force depth players to win their matchups.Set the edge wellThe Patriots defense has faced plenty of mobile quarterbacks in 2018 — from Deshaun Watson to Patrick Mahomes to Mitchell Trubisky — but it has not always been able to properly contain them. Tonight will mark the next chance for Brian Flores’ unit to match up against a highly athletic passer in Aaron Rodgers, and keeping him in the pocket to limit the damage he can do with his feet has to be imperative.First and foremost, the edge defenders cannot be too aggressive. This is exactly what happened against Trubisky in week seven and it allowed the Chicago Bears’ quarterback to burn the group for 81 yards on six carries. Rodgers, who has 18 carries for 116 yards so far this season, is a similar threat when allowed to break the pocket and pushing too far upfield from the edge could be fatal.Contain should therefore be high up on New England’s list of defensive priorities. This, of course, does not just hold true when it comes to the quarterback but also to limiting Green Bay’s ground game. While Ty Montgomery is no longer part of the equation due to him getting traded to Baltimore, Aaron Jones and his 6.2 yards per carry cannot be allowed to get to the outside as well.Don’t hand out extra chancesGreen Bay’s offense may not be the most efficient in the league this season, but that does not mean it is not a dangerous unit to play against. Consequently, the Patriots need to bring their A-game not just when it comes to execution but also when it comes to mentality: the unit cannot allow its opponent to get extra chances through penalties or cheap third down conversions.This, of course, holds true against every offense in the NFL but it is even more important against an offensive powerhouse like the Packers. If the Patriots defense can play a sound game and not commit avoidable errors, it would go a long way to supporting the offense to keep up in what could very well turn out to be a shootout.