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NFL Roster Cuts: Notable roster casualties

Every year, NFL teams must trim their rosters from 90 players down to 53. Which big name players find themselves looking for new homes this year?


Brock Osweiler, QB, Cleveland Browns

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Just over a year after signing a 4-year $72 million deal, Brock Osweiler has already been benched, traded, and now released. After an extremely disappointing season, the Houston Texans decided to cut their losses with their investment, and shipped him off along with a second round pick to the Cleveland Browns. Many thought Osweiler could resurrect his career in Cleveland, but that was not the case. After failing to beat out rookie DeShone Kizer for the starting quarterback job, the Browns looked to trade Osweiler. However, that endeavor was unsuccessful and the Browns decided to move on, as they released Osweiler Friday afternoon.

Victor Cruz, WR, Chicago Bears

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Not too long ago, Victor Cruz was a star receiver on the New York Giants and helped them win a Super Bowl in 2012. Unfortunately, Cruz has been plagued by injuries over the years. After he was released by the Giants, Cruz signed with the Chicago Bears and hoped to revive his career in the Windy City. Those hopes officially ended Friday, when the Bears decided to move on from Cruz. Will Cruz get another NFL opportunity or could this be the end of the road for the former Super Bowl champion?

Chris Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

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Chris Johnson once had a very promising future in the NFL, but now his time in the league may have officially run out. Many thought Johnson would become a star after his amazing 2009 season in which he ran for 2,006 yards. While Johnson put together some decent seasons in the years following, he was never able to repeat those numbers and did not look like the star he once was. Last season, Johnson barely played for the Cardinals, appearing in just four games and carrying the ball just 25 times. Will Johnson get another a shot with another team or is this the end of the road for him?

Matt Barkley, QB, San Francisco 49ers

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The San Francisco 49ers officially cut ties with quarterback Matt Barkley on Friday, after third round pick C. J. Beathard won the backup quarterback job over Barkley. It has been a sad fall for Barkley, who at one point was considered to have a promising future in the NFL. Those predictions never panned out, as Barkley has bounced around the league as a career backup, and the 49ers were Barkley’s fourth team in four years in the league. Could Barkley get another shot with a team in need of some quarterback depth?

Roberto Aguayo, K, Chicago Bears

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Just a couple of weeks after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Roberto Aguayo once again finds himself searching for a new job. Aguayo was a second round pick just a year ago, and is arguably one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory. Since entering the league last season, the man has simply struggled to kick the football between the uprights. Is Aguayo officially done in the NFL, or is there a team that still sees potential in the former Florida State star that is willing to give him another chance?

Riley Bullough, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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It is a sad day for Hard Knocks fans around the world, as one of the stars of the show and former Michigan State linebacker Riley Bullough was released by the Buccaneers on Saturday. Bullough impressed teammates, coaches, and fans with both his leadership and his play. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers had lots of depth at linebacker, thus making Bullough a roster casualty. Hopefully Bullough will get claimed off waivers by another team and have a successful NFL career.

T.J. Ward, S, Denver Broncos

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The Broncos made a pretty surprising move on Saturday when they released Pro Bowl safety T. J. Ward. This move looks like a salary cap casualty, as Ward was entering the final year of his contract and was set to count for $5.75 million against the cap. Ward is a very talented safety and his services will be in very high demand. Similarly to Joe Haden, look for Ward to be suiting up for a new team very soon.

Will Tye, TE, New York Giants

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The Giants released tight end Will Tye late Saturday morning. This was a fairly surprising move, as Tye was a significant part of the Giants’ offense and started 10 games for them last season. Tye should not be unemployed for long, as there is a very good chance he will be claimed off waivers by another team on Sunday.

Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins

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Once looking like a promising running back, it appears former third round pick Matt Jones has fallen out of favor in Washington. With the emergence of Rob Kelley and the selection of Samaje Perine, it appeared that Jones no longer had a future with the Redskins. Jones is still young and talented, and will likely be claimed off waivers tomorrow by a team in need of running back depth.

Jeremy Kerley, WR, San Francisco 49ers

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The 49ers released Jeremy Kerley on Saturday after just one year with the team. Kerley signed a three year deal with the 49ers prior to last season. The move is surprising considering that Kerley was the team’s leading receiver last year. Kerley will certainly be picked up by a receiver-needy team within the next day or two.

C. J. Spiller, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

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The Chiefs made a surprising move on Saturday afternoon, releasing veteran running back C. J. Spiller. This move was pretty unexpected, especially considering that starting running back Spencer Ware tore his ACL last week. Spiller finds himself looking for a new job yet again, as the running back bounced around the league last season, playing for the Saints, the Seahawks, and the Jets. The former Clemson star never lived up to his first round draft status. Could this be the end for the once-promising running back?

Which roster cuts surprised you? Discuss in the comments below!

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Justin Boguslavsky

Columbia University student, NFL and NCAAF writer, die hard Philly sports fan #FlyEaglesFly

Hot takes are my specialty

NFL Roster Cuts: Notable roster casualties

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