The NFL is a brutal sports league. Not just in the sense that players being able to hit and tackle each other at will, and resulting to some horrific injuries.
No, it’s the most brutal league because of roster cuts too. Dreams are made on the days after the draft when undrafted free agents are snapped up. They are then crushed like a bug in August when teams start trimming their rosters down to the required 53.
But it’s not all undrafted free agents who get cut during this time. Many veterans are also shown the door for various reasons, usually injury related. The difference is that veterans usually have a better chance of being resigned by another team.
This week marks the start of the major roster cuts. Teams have until 6pm ET on Saturday to cut their rosters down to at least 53 players. Already, some big names have been released.
Updated as of 4:47pm EST August 31st
RB – Jonathan Dwyer – Pittsburgh Steelers
TE – Tony Moeaki – Kansas City Chiefs
OG Jake Scott – Detroit Lions
QB - John Skelton – Cincinatti Bengals
QB – Tim Tebow – New England Patriots
QB - Vince Young – Green Bay Packers
QB – Greg McElroy – New York Jets
WR - Ramses Barden – New York Giants
DT - Sione Fua – Carolina Panthers
DL – Jermaine Cunningham – New England Patriots
CB – Ras-I Dowling – New England Patriots
WR – David Nelson – Cleveland Browns
QB – Jimmy Clausen – Carolina Panthers
DB – Anotoine Winfield – Seattle Seahawks
CB – Drayton Florence – Carolina Panthers
RB – Lance Ball – Denver Broncos
FB - Michael Robinson - Seattle Seahawks
OT – Zebrie Sanders – Buffalo Bills
TE – Dorin Dickerson – Buffalo Bills
TE - Dan Gronkowski – Cleveland Browns
OT – Max Starks – San Diego Chargers
CB – Marcus Trufant – Jacksonville Jaguars
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke – Pittsburgh Steelers
One of Al Davis’ notorious “fast 40″ draft choices taken in the third round of the 2011 draft Van Dyke posted a 4.25 second forty-yard dash. Unfortunately, he was just a burner withought the tools to play corner back in the NFL. He didn’t last a year in Oakland before being cut and ended up with the Steelers.
K Havard Rugland – Detroit Lions
Known as “kickalicious”, Havard Rugland received a camp invitation after a series of internet trick shot videos became popular. In the videos, Rugland is seen making a number of different trick shots with a football. The Lions have decided that they would rather have a veteran player in David Akers than a trick shot specialist in Havard Rugland.
K Billy Cundiff – New York Jets
The New York Jets announced on Tuesday that they have cut kicker Billy Cundiff and have signed free agent kicker Dan Carpenter in hopes of replacing him. This cut seems a bit shocking as it was kicker Nick Folk who missed a field goal in the Jets last preseason game. Perhaps they believe Carpenter or Folk will have a better season than Cundiff.
FB Eric Kettani – Washington Redskins
Eric Kettani was a long shot to make the Redskins’ roster. But he gets mentioned here simply because he’s a graduate of the United States Navy Academy and his promotion from from lieutenant junior grade to lieutenant was one of the best stories of this off-season. Everybody loves a hero.
LB Niko Koutouvides – New England Patriots
The New England Patriots have cut nine-year LB Niko Koutouvides. He spent the last two seasons with the Patriots. He played in the last 14 regular-season and both postseason games last year. He contributed 8 special teams tackles and one on defense in the regular season, and one stop in the playoffs. Other teams in need of a linebacker could find value in a league veteran.
WR – Braylon Edwards – New York Jets
The New York Jets decided Monday that they were going to move on from veteran wide receiver Braylon Edwards. This was his third stint with the New York Jets. This cut is actually surprising as the Jets do not have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position. The team must think that sophomore receiver Stephen Hill is going to be capable of stepping up a bit more this year than last.
WR – Donte Stallworth – Washington Redskins
The Redskins announced on Monday that they have chose to cut 32-year old receiver Donte Stallworth. This was Stallworth’s sixth team since entering the NFL in 2002. The team obviously did not need the veteran receiver with the addition of Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson.
WR – Da’Rick Rogers – Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have decided to cut rookie wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers today. Rogers was signed as a free agent following this year’s draft. Most Bills fans thought Rogers would be able to come in and compete for the number three spot behind Robert Woods and Stevie Johnson. Instead, Rogers struggled with gaining snaps during preseason games. The Bills must believe Marcus Easley and T.J. Graham were good enough for the third wide out position.
KR/PR Josh Cribbs – Oakland Raiders
Josh Cribbs is probably the biggest name released so far. Cribbs was once an elite kick return specialist for the Cleveland Browns But his knee injury never fully healed. As a result he’s lost some of his speed.
LB Aaron Curry – New York Giants
Aaron Curry was the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft. Dubbed the “safest pick in the draft” he failed to live up to his expectations making only 39 starts and notching 5.5 sacks in five years in the NFL. This is partly because he’s not very good and partly because he has bad knees.
K Dan Carpenter – Arizona Cardinals.
Dan Carpenter was signed by the Arizona Cardinals last week. One practice and one preseason game later, he was shown the door. Carpenter was signed to give some competition to beleaguered kicker Jay Feely. The competition obviously didn’t work out.
S Kenny Phillips – Philadelphia Eagles
Kenny Phillips is another player to suffer the curse of having knee issues. Phillips started 41 games for the New York Giants and was a Pro Bowl-caliber safety.
RB Joe McKnight – New York Jets
The New York Jets don’t have a very stable running back corps but they clear;y felt that they could o without 2010 fourth round pick Joe McKnight. McKnight has disappointed since entering the league and has had questions about his commitment to football.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe – Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have lost Dennis Pitta for the season. So it makes sense that they would add some depth to their tight end corps. That depth came in the shape of Visanthe Shiancoe. Shiancoe was signed a mere month ago. He has now been released.
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