One of many hardest days of each soccer season comes the weekend earlier than Week 1, as NFL groups are pressured to cut back their rosters to 53 gamers. Most years, unheralded gamers are capable of win spots in sure conditions with standout performances in sport conditions, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all preseason video games have been canceled this season, leaving these underdogs with much less of an opportunity to make an impression.
Nonetheless, some gamers have been ready to make use of their apply time correctly and unseat extra confirmed choices on the depth chart. That features in Inexperienced Bay, the place Malik Turner received the final spot at receiver over Jake Kumerow, and in Pittsburgh, the place Ray-Ray McCloud was capable of beat out Ryan Switzer. Some strikes induced us to scratch our heads, together with the Raiders buying and selling Lynn Bowden for a decrease worth than the third-round choose they spent on him in April, in addition to the Cowboys reversing course on veteran security Ha Ha Clinton-Dix after signing him earlier this offseason.
We’ll have one takeaway from each crew under, however you can evenfrom the weekend.
Buffalo Payments: Fromm survives
The Payments spent a fifth-round choose on Jake Fromm on this yr’s draft with the hope that he might problem for the backup spot at quarterback behind Josh Allen, however as an alternative he discovered himself in a battle with Davis Webb to be the crew’s No. 3 choice on the place. Hypothesis emerged that Fromm might fail to make the preliminary roster regardless of the draft choose invested in him again in April, however in the long run it was Webb who discovered himself on the reduce checklist. Buffalo did solely maintain 4 cornerbacks on the preliminary roster, so it is doable there are extra strikes on the best way. A kind of 4, Tre’Davious White, additionally reportedly agreed to an enormous extension on Saturday, retaining him in Buffalo for years to come back.
Miami Dolphins: Rosen on the transfer once more
The Cardinals made Josh Rosen the No. 10 general choose of the 2018 NFL Draft solely to surrender on the quarterback as soon as the crew discovered themselves with the highest general choose in 2019 and the chance to draft Kyler Murray. In order that they despatched Rosen to the Dolphins in trade for a second-round choose, and Rosen once more struggled when given a possibility along with his new crew. With the Dolphins additionally touchdown an anticipated franchise passer at No. 5 general this yr, Rosen’s solely probability at sticking in Miami was if the crew determined to maintain three quarterbacks, presumably resulting from concern about Tua Tagovailoa’s well being as he recovered from a number of accidents that ended his ultimate collegiate season. However Tagovailoa is outwardly wholesome sufficient to function the crew’s backup to start out the yr, and that leaves Rosen off the preliminary roster and in search of his third crew in three years.
New England Patriots: Kicker job goes to who?
The Patriots surprisingly made Justin Rohrwasser the primary kicker off the board in the course of the 2020 draft once they chosen the Marshall product within the fifth spherical. That made him the favourite to take the reins from Stephen Gostkowski heading into 2020, however the Patriots introduced again Nick Folks to compete for the kicking job as effectively. After information emerged that Rohrwasser was considered one of Saturday’s cuts, it appeared Folks had received that competitors. Nonetheless, Folks additionally discovered himself on the crew’s checklist of cuts. So who’s kicking for the Patriots in Week 1? Your guess is pretty much as good as ours.
New York Jets: New plans at middle
Offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison has been pressured to play loads at middle for the Jets over the previous couple of seasons, together with beginning 18 video games in 2018-19. Regardless of his expertise, the Jets determined to maneuver on from the seven-year veteran. With Josh Andrews additionally a part of the crew’s cuts, that leaves an open query who will get the nod if a fill-in is required at middle. Maybe Harrison will ultimately make his approach again onto the roster with a non-guaranteed wage, however for now Adam Gase’s offense enters the season with simply 9 offensive linemen, together with a number of new faces after an offseason makeover.
Baltimore Ravens: Going sparse at tight finish
The Ravens final yr have been marked by nice depth on the tight finish place, trotting out receiving menace Mark Andrews, blocking weapon Nick Boyle and former first-round choose Hayden Hurst. With Hurst traded to the Falcons this offseason, it was an open query who would emerge because the third choice on the place this summer time. And it seems, up to now, nobody. The Ravens reduce all three of the tight ends left on the roster on Saturday, together with Charles Scarff, Jerell Adams and UDFA Eli Wolf. Fullback Patrick Ricard can fill in at tight finish if wanted, however anticipate Baltimore to be looking out for a 3rd tight finish as they sift by accessible gamers as effectively.
Cincinnati Bengals: Eyeing the wire
The Bengals did not have a lot drama when it got here to their reduce day, with probably the most stunning maybe being the choice to maintain solely two quarterbacks contemplating Joe Burrow and Ryan Finley have a complete of three profession begins between them. Brandon Allen and Jacob Dolegala, each waived on Saturday, are candidates to land on the apply squad. However the attention-grabbing a part of the equation comes on Sunday, because the Bengals maintain the No. 1 waiver precedence as groups sift by the mountain of cuts made this weekend. Will Cincinnati add to their nook depth with Trae Waynes damage? Will they discover a veteran presence at quarterback? We’ll know in lower than 24 hours.
Cleveland Browns: Tight finish celebration for Stefanski
With Kevin Stefanski taking on the reins in Cleveland, we knew we might see loads of consideration paid to the tight finish place as the brand new coach incorporates multiple-TE seems into the offensive commonly. Not solely did they not commerce David Njoku after handing Austin Hooper an enormous contract in the course of the offseason, however the Browns went again to the effectively by choosing well-regarded tight finish prospect Harrison Bryant within the fourth spherical of the draft. That is a powerful prime three on the place, and it figured to go away Pharaoh Brown and Stephen Carlson probably combating for one spot. Nicely, it seems neither participant was on the crew’s reduce checklist for Saturday, setting the Browns up with a whopping 5 tight ends to start out the yr. Get used to seeing loads of our bodies on the place on the sector for Cleveland.
Pittsburgh Steelers: McCloud takes Switzer’s spot
After serving because the crew’s main return and a part of the receiver rotation in 2018, Ryan Switzer noticed his function lowered final yr. The Steelers signed Ray-Ray McCloud, a third-year professional who additionally has returner expertise, throughout camp and in the end determined to maintain him round on the preliminary roster whereas sending Switzer packing. He was considered one of 5 receivers to overlook on an preliminary roster spot for Pittsburgh, with Saeed Blacknall, Deon Cain, DeAndre Thompkins and Amara Darboh additionally on the skin wanting in. That leaves simply McCloud behind the crew’s prime 4 of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington and rookie Chase Claypool.
Houston Texans: Depth an issue on O-line
The massive information on Saturday for Houston was after all Deshaun Watson’s, and maybe probably the most notable reduce on Saturday was a participant who has spent loads of time blocking for him through the years. Greg Mancz made 28 begins for the Texans during the last 4 years however managed to play in simply 9 video games (one begin) final yr because the crew lastly discovered a line mixture that had some stage of success. Whereas Houston’s beginning 5 is locked in, they will have loads of inquiries to reply when it comes to depth with Mancz, Brent Qvale, Rick Leonard, Kyle Murphy, Cordel Iwuagwu, Jerald Hawkins and Elijah Nkansah additionally failing to make the preliminary roster. That leaves simply Roderick Johnson, Senio Kelemete and 2020 fourth-round choose Charlie Heck to function depth, so anticipate not less than yet one more title introduced aboard within the coming days.
Indianapolis Colts: New kicker on the town
Adam Vinatieri’s poor efficiency in 2019 value Indy potential wins and left the crew in search of a brand new kicker for the primary time since 2006. With Chase McLaughlin a part of Saturday’s cuts, that leaves the job to undrafted free agent Rodrigo Blankenship. The Georgia kicker, who wears thick glasses throughout video games, hit on 82.5 p.c of his field-goal makes an attempt on the collegiate stage and earned the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s prime kicker, final season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Turning web page at RB
The Jaguars’ most notable reduce got here earlier within the week when the crew parted methods with former No. 4 general choose Leonard Fournette, who went on to comply with a brand new cope with the Bucs. That left 5 operating backs on the roster as contenders to switch Fournette’s large function within the offense. The assumed chief of the pack, Ryquell Armstead, was positioned on the COVID reserve checklist, and whereas one of many crew’s two UDFAs, Nathan Cottrell, could not crack the preliminary 53-man roster, the opposite did. James Robinson racked up 4,444 speeding yards and 46 speeding touchdowns in his Illinois State profession, and now he’ll get the chance to compete for touches with Devine Ozigbo and Jay Gruden favourite Chris Thompson ought to Armstead keep on the reserve checklist for Week 1.
Tennessee Titans: Heavy workload for RBs?
The Titans leaned closely on Derrick Henry final season; for probably the most half the technique paid off, as Henry dominated in the course of the playoffs and helped drag the crew to the AFC Championship Recreation. Tennessee then handed a four-year deal to the star runner and spent a third-round choose on Darrynton Evans to be their second choice on the place. What’s going to they do if they should dig previous these two gamers? That is up within the air, because the crew parted methods with the opposite three operating backs on the roster on Saturday, saying goodbye to Senorise Perry, Marcus Marshall and Jeremy McNichols. Khari Blasingame nonetheless stays at fullback, however anticipate Tennessee to carry not less than yet one more true operating again into the fold earlier than Week 1.
Denver Broncos: New faces on protection
After saying goodbye to Chris Harris and Derek Wolfe, two gamers who led their place teams in snaps final yr, earlier this offseason, the makeover continued this week for the Broncos. Todd Davis, who led all Broncos linebackers in snaps final yr, was launched in a cost-cutting transfer, whereas former beginning cornerback Isaac Yiadom was dealt to the Giants. Yiadom’s departure cleared the best way for a couple of gamers to step into the fold because the third choice on the place behind A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan, together with De’Vante Bausby, however he was additionally unable to make the preliminary roster. This week’s strikes clear the best way for Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell to start out at linebacker, with latest additions Mark Barron and Austin Calitro ready within the wings. Third-round choose Michael Ojemudia and UDFA Essang Bassey will be a part of Duke Dawson and Davontae Harris at cornerback behind Bouye and Callahan.
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs: RB settled behind rookie?
After Damien Williams opted out of the season, it was an open query whether or not the Chiefs would herald some assist to take among the stress off first-round choose Clyde Edwards-Helaire. That did not occur, with ex-Raider DeAndre Washington serving as the principle addition to the backfield. Now Washington finds himself in search of a job as soon as once more, as Kansas Metropolis has determined to maintain simply Darrel Williams (to not be confused with offensive lineman Darryl Williams, who was reduce) and Darwin Thompson at operating again behind the rookie. Neither was efficient carrying the soccer final yr, with Williams averaging 3.4 yards per carry and Thompson not significantly better at 3.5. This could possibly be a place of focus because the Chiefs sift by the cuts made across the league over the weekend.
Los Angeles Chargers: Questions at receiver
The massive information for the Chargers on Saturday concerned No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen touchdownto maintain him in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. The one different large receiver on the crew to catch greater than 10 passes final yr, Mike Williams, could possibly be up subsequent in getting a deal achieved. However questions stay for the remainder of the depth chart on the place, particularly with ex-Titan Darius Jennings a part of the crew’s cuts this weekend. The third and fourth receiver roles might now come right down to a pair of Day 3 rookies in fifth-rounder Joe Reed and seventh-rounder Ok.J. Hill — until the Chargers have extra strikes to make over the following few days to strengthen the place.
Las Vegas Raiders: Stunning commerce at RB
The Raiders spent a third-round choose on offensive weapon Lynn Bowden throughout April’s draft and even made some noise about utilizing him at quarterback in some packages throughout camp after he stuffed that function for Kentucky resulting from harm final yr. However in the end the crew determined to maneuver on earlier than he had even performed a snap, buying and selling Bowden plus a sixth-round choose to Miami for a fourth-round choose. That is not what you need to see from a participant taken eightieth general, and one has to marvel if he wasn’t a match for the locker room in Las Vegas. With Bowden traded and Theo Riddick launched, the Raiders head into the season with Jalen Richard and Devontae Booker behind Josh Jacobs on the depth chart.
Dallas Cowboys: Reversing course on Clinton-Dix
The Cowboys handed security Ha Ha Clinton-Dix a one-year, $3.75 million contract in free company that included $2.25 million in assured cash. The previous first-round choose, who spent loads of time taking part in for Mike McCarthy with the Packers, did not even make it to Week 1, rapidly slipping behind Darian Thompson on the depth chart in camp earlier than failing to land a spot on the preliminary roster. Xavier Woods, who has been battling a groin challenge, might be assumed to be wholesome sufficient to play in Week 1 with the Clinton-Dix transfer, however anticipate hypothesis to proceed operating wild on whether or not three-time first-team All-Professional Earl Thomas lands at Dallas. For now, Luther Kirk and 2019 sixth-round choose Donovan Wilson will function depth at security, although it is doable among the crew’s corners might see time on the place if wanted.
New York Giants: Stunning reduce at linebacker
2019 fifth-round choose Ryan Connelly flashed when given the chance final yr, recording two interceptions and one sack whereas taking part in in simply 4 video games resulting from an ACL tear. He was anticipated to play a serious function on the protection as soon as wholesome, however that return to well being by no means got here, and the crew launched the linebacker in an sudden transfer on Saturday. Whereas the Giants will probably attempt to preserve his rights by way of an harm transfer, that leaves the crew with questions at who will play linebacker subsequent to Blake Martinez. 2020 seventh-round picks Tae Crowder and T.J. Brunson made the crew’s preliminary roster, however with David Mayo additionally coping with an harm, the almost certainly candidate to start out early is Devante Downs, supplied the Giants do not add extra assist on the place within the coming days.
Philadelphia Eagles: Cornerback rebuild full
The Eagles’ Achilles heel has usually been the cornerback place in recent times, however the crew went to nice lengths to deal with the difficulty this offseason, buying and selling for and lengthening Darius Slay to be their No. 1 choice, whereas including nickel nook Nickell Robey-Coleman in the course of the offseason as effectively. Slay will pair with 2018 fourth-round choose Avonte Maddox on the skin, and 2019 commerce acquisition Cre’Von LeBlanc will function a reserve together with Craig James. That left no room for the crew to maintain a pair of 2017 Day 2 picks on the place: Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas. Although Jones was the upper choose, Douglas has performed the larger function for the crew over their three years in Philadelphia, however each discover themselves in the identical place after reduce day: in search of a brand new job.
Washington Soccer Staff: Smith again, Peterson gone
The largest information for Washington concerned two long-time NFL veterans, with one packing his luggage and one remarkably finishing his comeback. Not solely was Alex Smith unlikely to ever step on a soccer discipline once more after struggling a compound fracture to his leg, however he was in peril of shedding the limb and even his life. Towards all odds, Smith returned to the sector this summer time and finds himself on the crew’s preliminary roster to start out the season, the place he’ll function a backup behind 2019 first-round Dwayne Haskins. One veteran who will not be becoming a member of him is Adrian Peterson, who did not match into the rebuilding crew’s plans at operating again. Washington will transfer ahead with 2020 third-round choose Antonio Gibson and 2019 fourth-rounder Bryce Love on the place together with offseason signings Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic.
Chicago Bears: Nonetheless questions at kicker
Bears followers have suffered loads of heartbreak on the kicker place over latest years, and so they exit Saturday with out a lot readability on the state of affairs. With Eddy Pineiro coping with a groin harm in camp, the crew introduced veteran Cairo Santos aboard. Although Pineiro would not but seem wholesome, the Bears made Santos considered one of their cuts, permitting him the liberty to signal with one other crew if he chooses (notably, the Patriots left Saturday’s deadline with zero rostered kickers). Santos could find yourself again on the crew earlier than the crew’s Week 1 matchup, but when he winds up elsewhere, Chicago will probably be left trying to find an alternative choice ought to Pineiro stay lower than 100%.
Detroit Lions: Fifth-rounder fails to make roster
Operating again Jason Huntley was a little bit of a shock draft choose for the Lions after the crew already invested a excessive second-rounder on D’Andre Swift on the place, and regardless of having his moments in camp, Huntley wound up unable to crack the crew’s preliminary roster. The rookie joins Wes Hills and Jonathan Williams because the crew’s cuts on the place. That leaves Bo Scarbrough and 2019 sixth-round choose Ty Johnson as depth on the place behind Swift and 2018 second-rounder Kerryon Johnson. Scarbrough stuffed in because the starter for a portion of final yr and completed the season with a 4.2 yards per carry common on his 89 makes an attempt.
Inexperienced Bay Packers: Kumerow loses spot to Taylor
Aaron Rodgers misplaced a receiving choice he thought-about dependable on Saturday, because the Packers determined to not carry Jake Kumerow on the crew’s preliminary roster. The fan-favorite caught 12 of his 21 targets for 219 yards and a landing final yr, however at 28 years previous, the he was unable to stay on a Packers depth chart that can look principally the identical because it did final yr at receiver, with Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown on the prime of the depth chart. The ultimate title taking Kumerow’s place: Malik Taylor, an undrafted participant out of Ferris State in 2019.
Minnesota Vikings: Well being important at security
The Vikings determined to not maintain anybody behind their beginning pair of safeties, with 2020 sixth-round choose Josh Metellus, UDFA Myles Dorn and Steven Parker among the many crew’s cuts on Saturday. Meaning Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, who’re each glorious gamers, are going to be taking part in as many snaps as they’ll deal with. Receiver Dan Chisena has additionally spent slightly time on the security place in camp, so he might assist in a pinch, however we should always anticipate Minnesota to discover a extra appropriate backup plan for Smith and Harris earlier than gameday.
Atlanta Falcons: Goodbye, all-first-rounder offense
Over the offseason, Atlanta’s additions left them in place to doubtlessly run out an offense that featured first-round picks at each place. That dream got here to an finish on Saturday, as former Vikings first-rounder Laquon Treadwell was among the many crew’s introduced cuts. Treadwell solely made 16 begins in his 4 seasons with Minnesota and managed simply 9 catches final yr earlier than becoming a member of the Falcons this offseason. Treadwell’s launch leaves Russell Gage because the crew’s third receiver, with Olamide Zaccheus, Christian Blake and Brandon Powell additionally making the preliminary roster on the place.
Carolina Panthers: RB in flux behind McCaffrey
The Carolina run sport begins and principally ends with Christian McCaffrey, however many of the leftover carries went to Reggie Bonnafon final yr. He turned his 16 speeding makes an attempt into 116 yards and one landing, whereas Jordan Scarlett and Mike Davis mixed for simply six rush makes an attempt on the yr. The depth chart acquired a shakeup on Saturday nonetheless, with Bonnafon discovering himself on the chopping block. That leaves Davis because the No. 2 and former Jets again Trenton Cannon because the third choice behind McCaffrey. Davis flashed for the Seahawks in 2018, averaging 4.6 yards per stick with it his 112 totes, and he is earned loads of reward all through camp.
New Orleans Saints: Staff burns 2021 draft choose
Each reduce day, we’ll see a handful of notable gamers who have been simply drafted wind up on the reduce checklist on deadline day. In 2020, that group contains as excessive as a fifth-round choose, with Justin Rohrwasser and Jason Huntley failing to make their groups’ preliminary rosters. Nevertheless it’s not usually you see a crew reduce a participant that value them a choose within the following yr’s draft. That is what occurred with the Saints, who traded their complete Day 3 draft haul to maneuver up within the draft’s first two days, then spent a 2021 sixth-round choose to slip into the seventh spherical and choose quarterback Tommy Stevens. With three quarterbacks on the depth chart forward of him, Stevens started seeing work as a good finish, however apparently he did not present sufficient to stay round regardless of the Saints sacrificing a future draft choose simply to land him.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mud settles on RB modifications
As soon as it was reported the Buccaneers can be the crew to scoop up former top-five choose Leonard Fournette, many began attempting to determine what it meant for the crew’s RB depth chart. In spite of everything, the Bucs had signed LeSean McCoy earlier in the summertime to complement a place that already featured presumed starter Ronald Jones, particular groups ace Dare Ogunbowale and 2020 draft picks Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Raymond Calais. Surprisingly, Ogunbowale was one of many odd males out regardless of his particular groups function, with seventh-round rookie Raymond Calais additionally failing to make the crew. That leaves a depth chart (in some order) of Jones, McCoy, Vaughn and Fournette, as soon as the latter formally indicators.
Arizona Cardinals: Backup QB stays unsettled
Among the many Cardinals’ cuts to get right down to 53 gamers have been 2019 fourth-rounder Hakeem Butler and 2020 sixth-rounder Evan Weaver. Whereas the latter led the nation with 181 tackles final yr, the largest shock could also be not who was reduce, however who wasn’t. The Cardinals signed former CFL quarterback Chris Streveler in the beginning of the offseason, and the ex-Winnipeg Blue Bomber signal-caller managed to stay on the crew’s preliminary roster behind Kyler Murray and Brett Hundley. Streveler provides Kliff Kingsbury one other cellular choice below middle in case of emergency.
Los Angeles Rams: Sam the Yam?
With Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein shifting on in free company this offseason, the Rams discovered themselves in search of a brand new kicker for the primary time in years. The crew staged a three-man battle in camp this summer time, pitting seventh-round choose Sam Sloman in opposition to UDFAs Austin MacGinnis and Lirim Hajrullahu. The draft choose was capable of maintain off his opponents, who each discovered themselves waived by the crew over the weekend. The Rams will hope Sloman, who related on 87% of his field-goal makes an attempt final yr, can replicate the success of Zuerlein, their 2012 sixth-round draft choose.
San Francisco 49ers: Two former top-10 picks neglected
The 49ers mentioned goodbye to 2 former top-10 picks on reduce day, with one caveat: each have been picked off the scrap heap this summer time after failing to stay as much as their draft standing up to now of their careers. Former No. 3 general choose Dion Jordan was unable to crack the depth chart on the line of defense, with the crew electing to maintain Kevin Givens and Kerry Hyder on the again finish of the roster as an alternative. Former No. 7 general choose Kevin White was considered one of numerous receivers introduced in to assist the crew cope with a trove of accidents on the place over the summer time, however he joins River Cracraft, Shawn Poindexter and 2020 seventh-round choose Jauan Jennings as receivers to overlook out on the preliminary roster.
Seattle Seahawks: Griffin squeezed off roster
Shaquem Griffin’s inspirational story was one of many highlights of the 2018 NFL Draft, when the Seahawks used a fifth-round choose to reunite the linebacker along with his twin brother, cornerback Shaquill Griffin. Whereas Shaquem had his flashes for the Seahawks during the last two years, he in the end was unable to hold on to his roster spot on cutdown day. That has much less to do with him and extra to do with the depth the crew has constructed on the place over the previous couple of years, together with bringing free agent Bruce Irvin again into the fold and spending a first-round choose on Jordyn Brooks on this yr’s draft. These two gamers be a part of mainstays Bobby Wagner and Ok.J. Wright as featured gamers on the place, with 2019 draft picks Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven rounding out the depth chart.