Though most NFL veterans are safe for final roster cuts, there are a few who may find themselves on the open market after training camp ends. While it's not commonplace for every team, it's highly likely at least a few players avoid getting cut. Teams will likely try to trade these players before cutting them, but more often than not, the players are simply cut. With that in mind, here are six big-name players who could be cut before the NFL season starts:
Brock Osweiler, QB, Cleveland Browns
Need evidence that things can change quickly in the NFL. In Week 2 of the preseason, Osweiler was starting on Monday Night Football and the favorite to win the starting job for the regular season opener. Things have been going south since then. The went 6/8 for just 25 yards and an interception, didn't start the Week 3 "dress rehearsal" preseason game, and is now fighting with Cody Kessler for the backup job after head coach Hue Jackson named rookie DeShone Kizer the starter.
Cleveland is now trying to trade, but aren't finding any takers for his $16 million contract (as expected). If he's unable to separate himself from Kessler for the backup job, the Browns may find it easier to just cut him.
Geno Smith, QB, New York Giants
Smith looks like he's going to be the odd man out in a numbers game. Eli Manning is the No. 1, while Davis Webb will make the roster in what will be a redshirt year. The Giants won't carry four quarterbacks, so it's a battle between Smith and Josh Johnson for the backup QB spot, with the loser getting cut. Johnson has the experience in the system, and while Smith has played well in spurts, he hasn't cut back on his turnovers. This battle won't be decided until after the fourth preseason game, but right now, Smith looks like he could be shown the door.
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots
There's a log-jam at running back and Lewis might be the odd man out. The Patriots added Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead this offseason and gave James White an extension. Those three are locked on the roster, with White the clear long-term third down back. That means Lewis will need to beat out Belichick favorite Brandon Bolden and even D.J. Foster to make the roster - which isn't a great sign for the injury-prone Lewis. The Patriots can save nearly $1.3 million by cutting Lewis and they could try to shop him before the 53-man roster cuts.
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Jermaine Kearse, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Kearse regressed in 2016 and now finds himself in danger of a roster spot. Doug Baldwin isn't going anywhere and Seattle would love it if Tyler Lockett or Paul Richardson consistently showed the flashes of game-breaking ability they possess, and Kasen Williams has really stepped up this season. As such, Kearse could be relegated to further down the depth chart - which puts his roster spot in doubt with third round pick Amara Darboh on the roster now. So, the Seahawks could elect to take the $2.2 million in cap savings and let Kearse leave (unless they decide to trade him).
DeAngelo Hall, DB, Washington Redskins
The Redskins overhauled their secondary this offseason, adding D.J. Swearinger, moving Su'a Cravens to safety and drafting Montae Nicholson in the fourth round. Hall will turn 34 this season and after season-ending injuries in two of his last three years, he may not have enough much in the tank. And even if he can still contribute, do the Redskins want to keep a $5 million cap hit for a backup? The Redskins can save $4.25 million by cutting Hall and they might just do so.
Lamarr Houston, OLB, Chicago Bears
The Bears have some good depth at the OLB spot, with Pernell McPhee, Leonard Floyd, Willie Young, Lamarr Houston on the roster, plus veterans like Sam Acho and Dan Skuta. That's probably too many players for the spot, so the Bears could try to save some money but cutting Houston. He barely played last year because of a torn ACL. The Bears didn't draft another edge rusher, which helps Houston's chances, but he is set to count nearly $7 million against the cap.Back to the NFL Newsfeed