bill-swift - September 4, 2012
Friday night the 32 teams in the NFL had to have something done that no person looks forward to doing. They had to cut the roster down from 75 (which they just got down to earlier in the week) to the regular season max of 53. That means that about 700 players will either find the dream cut short or finally coming to an end.
While most of the cuts are going to be guys that the majority of fans have never heard of there have been some that were once major contributors during their day. I'm talking about a Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP, former first round picks and so much more.
Offensive cuts ruled the headlines as many teams cut at least one back-up quarterback. Some teams were confident enough with the two they had to not carry a third while some teams appeared to make the move more as a financial gesture.
The New England Patriots opted to go with youth at wide receiver and for Tom Brady's back-up after letting go former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch and QB Brian Hoyer leaving the team with just Ryan Mallett to back up Brady.
Back up quarterbacks across the league were under fire a lot. Cleveland ended up hanging on to Colt McCoy and waved goodbye to Seneca Wallace. After Nick Foles and Trent Edwards had good preseasons the Eagles no longer had a need for Mike Kafka. The Vikings opted for youth as well cutting veteran QB Sage Rosenfels. Baltimore decided that it did not need the services of former Indianapolis QB Curtis Painter. The Rams decided they were okay with an undrafted rookie being Sam Bradford's only backup and cut Kellen Clemens.
Houston cut the all-time NCAA passing leader Case Keenum in favor of John Beck, but were able to stash him on the practice squad. Dallas appeared to be ready to keep three quarterbacks, but cut Stephen McGee the day after the cuts down to 53 were made for another tight end. Former Texas star Vince Young was cut after the Bills obtained Tarvaris Jackkson from the Seahawks. With Jason Campbell backing up Jay Cutler the Bears decided to cut Josh McCown.
A couple of quality running backs will be looking for a new home as well. With the stable of backs that Mike Shanahan has in Washington Tim Hightower was no longer needed. Two-time Super Bowl winner D.J. Ware was released from the Giants after five seasons. Rookie Terrance Gannaway, one of Robert Griffin III's Baylor teammates, was let go by the Jets. Chargers fullback Jacob Hester is also looking for a new team now.
Many of the younger players will be picked up over the next few days, and some already have (i.e. Terrance Gannaway has been picked up by the Rams). Veterans will likely end up waiting till after Week One. If teams sign them before then their contracts are guaranteed for the season, but after Week One they are not.
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