For bubble players across the NFL, a phone call on Tuesday can bring very good news or very bad news.
That’s the reality as 32 teams drop from 80 players to 53 at 4 p.m. ET, setting their initial regular-season rosters and parting with hundreds of players in the process.
The downsizing process isn’t always straightforward – there will be trades and lineouts to account for injuries – but it’s always difficult, just as it’s a sign that the start of the season is finally approaching.
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NFL PRE-SEASON TAKEAWAYS:Joint practices, Deshaun Watson saga, QB situations
This year, franchises can re-register 16 players — including more veterans than ever — on practice squads starting Wednesday.
In the meantime, here are some of the league’s most notable players who were let go before the Tuesday afternoon deadline.
He was scheduled to enter his fourth NFL season with his sixth different team, but the Browns would be the last team to leave Rosen.
Even with Deshaun Watson suspended 11 gamesBrowns coach Kevin Stefanski has named Jacoby Brissett as an interim starter until Watson returns in Week 13. Cleveland also has Josh Dobbs on the roster behind Watson and Brissett.
The 10th overall selection in the 2018 draft, Rosen, 25, lasted just one season with the Cardinals, the team that drafted him. He joined the Dolphins as a substitute the following year. Since then, he has spent time on reserve or on the practice squad with the Buccaneers, 49ers, Falcons and, most recently, the Browns.
Denver had a backup quarterback battle between Johnson and Brett Rypien, and Rypien, for now, emerged victorious. The Broncos could still look at who’s available after Tuesday’s cut before finalizing who they’ll enter the regular season with behind starter Russell Wilson. Johnson is an invested veteran, so he’s free to sign anywhere, although Denver would like him back on their practice squad. The 36-year-old quarterback has been on 14 NFL teams in his career and told USA TODAY Sports late last week that the key to dealing with uncertainty is, “For me, I just keep my faith strong, knowing that i will be all just focus on the work and it will be ok.
Harris started 14 games in Philadelphia last year and before that he started 47 games in six seasons for the Minnesota Vikings. Last year, he had 72 tackles (two for losses) in addition to an interception. Harris is an invested veteran, so his release means he’s a free agent instead of having to clear waivers before signing with another team — or returning to the Eagles.
In a surprising move, the Bucs cut Ryan on Tuesday.
Ryan and Tom Brady were teammates for the New England Patriots. They won two Super Bowls in New England. In 2017, Ryan signed with the Tennessee Titans. He played three seasons at Tennessee before joining the New York Giants in 2020. The veteran defensive back reunited with Brady in Tampa Bay this offseason. He was competing for defensive back work with the Bucs.
Entering his 10th season, Ryan has produced 705 tackles, 95 pass deflections and 18 interceptions in 140 career games (115 starts). The versatile defensive back has lined up at safety and cornerback during his career.
A third-year Minnesota wide receiver, Johnson had 36 catches on 55 targets for 360 yards in 2021, but didn’t catch a touchdown. Even still, Tampa letting him go, according to multiple reports, is a surprise. The Bucs have depth in the position, with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin headlining as well as offseason addition Julio Jones.
With star running back and reigning rush leader Jonathan Taylor and backup Nyheim Hines firmly entrenched atop the depth chart, the Colts would move on of 2018 Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay. Indianapolis had signed Lindsay on a one-year contract in May, but he had struggled to find a place in Indianapolis, carrying the ball 16 times in preseason for just 55 yards.
Lindsay, 28, played for two teams last season, the Texans and the Dolphins. Houston released him in November before hanging on to Miami for the final four games of the season. Overall, he rushed for 249 yards and a touchdown and also had 45 receiving yards and one receiving score. Lindsay was an undrafted rookie for the Denver Broncos, where he played his first three seasons. His most prolific campaign was his rookie year when he had 1,278 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns.
The Vikings have released backup quarterback Kellen Mond, their third-round pick in the 2021 draft, a person familiar with the situation has confirmed. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.
The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise after Mond struggled this pre-season and the Vikings recently acquired Nick Mullens via a trade from Oakland.
Mond was a draft pick from the previous regime, but didn’t quite match the type of offense new coach Kevin O’Connell wants to run. Mullens, meanwhile, played in a similar system with the 49ers and gives Minnesota a backup with playing experience, having started 17 games in four seasons.
Howard signed a one-year, more than $3 million contract with Buffalo this offseason but will not be on the team’s roster, according to multiple reports Tuesday morning. Howard caught 15 touchdowns and 119 catches for 1,737 yards in his first five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but had just 25 total catches in 21 games the past two seasons. Howard was a 2017 first-round pick out of the University of Alabama.
The veteran receiver was released on Tuesday after catching a pass during the preseason. Gordon played 12 games for Kansas City in 2021, catching five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. The veteran receiver, of course, burst onto the scene in 2013 when he had 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. From there, however, he was suspended multiple times for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and his statistical best season came in 2018 when he caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three scores in New York. -England. Gordon tweeted on Tuesday: “Excited to see where the next part of my football journey takes me.”
Michel joined Miami in May on a one-year, $2.1 million deal after playing well for the Super Bowl champion Rams last year. The fifth-year running back rushed for over 900 yards in each of his first two pro seasons with the New England Patriots in 2018 and 2019 to go along with 13 total rushing touchdowns. The Dolphins, however, will head into the regular season instead with a backfield led by Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert.
The 49ers are parting ways with Snead, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.
The veteran wide receiver signed a one-year deal with the 49ers in early August and has made an impression on the team. The 49ers have an interest in signing Snead to their practice squad, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
Snead entered the league in 2014 as an undrafted free agent. He produced 279 receptions, 3,431 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 95 career games with the Saints, Ravens, Panthers and Raiders.
Treadwell, a former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick, was released Monday after catching 33 passes for 434 yards at Jacksonville last year. The Jags had an active Monday as they also traded receiver Laviska Shenault to Carolina. Treadwell (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) had his best year in 2021, but he has just five career touchdowns in 70 games. Maybe another team will think they can get more out of him this fall.
Detroit’s first-round pick in 2017, Davis had spent four of his five professional seasons with the Lions before being cut on Monday. He started 41 games for the franchise in his first three seasons at the University of Florida. But he then had just nine in 23 appearances over the past two seasons — 2020 with the New York Jets and last year at Detroit, when he had a career-low 25 tackles in nine games. The Lions have several options at inside linebacker, including Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes and sixth-round rookie pick Malcolm Rodriguez.
Johnson is leaving Buffalo. The Bills decided to cut Johnson after the team signed the veteran running back in March. The well-traveled running back spent his first four years in Cleveland before making stops in Houston, Miami and Buffalo.
The 2015 third-round pick has 530 carries for 2,261 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in 96 career games.
Buffalo’s best options at running back should be Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and rookie James Cook.
Bears QB Nathan Peterman
The Bears informed Peterman he was cut, but the team would like him back on the practice squad, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.
Peterman was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 2017 draft. He played two seasons at Buffalo and spent two years with the Las Vegas Raiders before joining the Bears. He has 573 passing yards, three touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 10 career games. He is infamous for throwing five interceptions in his first career start.
The sixth-year quarterback has been a backup for most of his career.
A pair of veteran bettors hit the market Monday when the Broncos and Titans released Martin and Kern respectively.
Martin has played 139 career games over the past two seasons in Denver, but keeping Corliss Waitman above him heading into the regular season will save the Broncos $1.425 million on their salary cap.
Kern, meanwhile, was cut by Denver in 2009 and continued to kick for the Titans for over 12 seasons. He lost a camp battle to Colorado State rookie Ryan Stonehouse.
A former undrafted free agent, Guidry played in all 17 games for the Jets last year, including three starts. He appeared in 28 competitions in his first two NFL seasons. In 2020 he forced four fumbles and last year he recorded 48 total tackles.