It’s a bit like cleaning the toilet – trimming your final roster down to the 53 man limit is that job nobody wants to do but has to be done. It’s a brutal time of year for players and coaching staff alike and considering it is people’s livelihoods on the line, there is always a lot at stake. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and fortunately this often applies in the NFL’s roster move circus. With that in mind, here are our potential landing spots for this year’s most notably cut players
Brock Osweiler – Denver Broncos
That’s right, the Brock Osweiler bandwagon may come full circle in the ensuing days after he was cut from the Browns’ final roster. Osweiler left Denver after Super Bowl 50 to join the Texans on a $72 million deal, before flaming out there after one season and being dumped in Cleveland as collateral damage from a trade that saw the Browns also inherit Houston’s 2018 2nd round draft pick. Hue Jackson and the Browns tried to make it work with Osweiler, but eventually came to the same conclusion as the Texans and cut him after 5 months with the team.
Now it seems John Elway wants his former backup to rejoin the team in the mile high city with the Broncos expected to pursue Osweiler aggressively. Elway never really wanted to lose Osweiler, he just thought the Texans were overpaying him and didn’t want to match their offer in the 2015 off-season. Now he has been proven right and with the Paxton Lynch project on the back burner, he may get the quarterback he wanted after all.
T. J. Ward - Los Angeles Rams
In a shock move, the Denver Broncos released 3 × pro-bowl safety T. J. Ward as part of their final roster cuts Saturday. Ward, 30, was due $4.5 million in the final year of his deal in 2017 and his release is probably somewhat of a salary cap casualty, combined with his age and injury concerns. Ward has missed significant time during his tenure with the Broncos and the team also has a lot of young depth at the position, meaning Denver probably has its sights set on the future.
T. J. Ward was a critical component of the Broncos formidable Super Bowl winning defense that was coached by Rams new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Ward is very familiar with and was successful in Phillips’ system and with the Rams being depleted at the safety position, it seems like a logical move for Ward to reunite with Phillips in LA.
Chris Johnson - Detroit Lions
The former Titans, Jets and Cardinals tailback finds himself short of making Arizona’s final roster this year, but it may not be the end of the line for the 31-year-old 3 × pro-bowler. Fortunately for Johnson, there are a number of teams in need of help at the running back position and top of the list are the Detroit Lions. The Lions recently signed their franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford, to the biggest contract in NFL history and it’s no secret that he hasn’t had much of a running game to lean on for most of his career. In fact, the Lions haven’t had a player rush for over 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush did it on Thanksgiving in 2013.
Having a solid running game opens up opportunities in the passing game which would be welcome relief for Stafford who has had to come up with most of his team’s offensive production. Chris Johnson has been a reliable runner over his career and a few productive twilight years in Detroit would work out nicely for both sides of the equation.
Jeremy Kerley - New York Jets
Kerley was the 49ers’ leading receiver last year and signed a three-year, $10.5 million extension just a few months ago, yet he finds himself on the wrong end of the team’s roster cuts heading into the season. Admittedly, leading the team doesn’t mean a lot when you only earn 667 yards, but the backflip on the contract extension in combination with this is curious. The Niners did sign Pierre Garcon to presumably be their number one receiver during the off-season and it has come at the expense of Kerley, who is also a good contributor on special teams.
If the Jets want to win this year, Kerley’s versatility could be a valuable asset to a team that is rolling with a set of second string wide receivers and a questionable return man after the injury to Lucky Whitehead. Kerley has history with the Jets having been drafted by them in 2011 and playing with the team up until 2016 when he joined the Lions before being traded to San Francisco. A reunion with Gang Green could really help the Jets who are seemingly trying to make 2017 as difficult as possible for their talented defense.
Where do you think cut players will land? Discuss in the comments below!
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