For players on the bubble across the NFL, a phone call Tuesday can bring either very good or very bad news.
That’s the reality as 32 teams downsize from 80 players to 53 by 4 p.m. ET, setting their initial regular-season rosters and parting with hundreds of players in the process.
The roster cutdown process is not always straightforward – there will be trades and roster maneuverings to account for injuries – but it is always difficult, just as it’s a sign that the start of the season is finally drawing near.
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This year, franchises can sign back 16 players – including more veterans than ever — onto practice squads beginning Wednesday.
In the meantime, here are some of the most notable players across the league who were let go ahead of the Tuesday afternoon deadline.
The Vikings have released backup quarterback Kellen Mond, their third-round pick of the 2021 draft, a person familiar with the situation 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 preseason and the Vikings recently acquired Nick Mullens via trade from Oakland.
Mond was a draft selection of the previous regime, but didn’t fit as well with 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.
— Mike Jones
Howard signed a one-year deal with more than $3 million with Buffalo this offseason, but will not make the team’s roster, according to multiple reports Tuesday morning. Howard caught 15 touchdowns and had 119 catches for 1,737 yards over his first five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but had just 25 total catches in 21 games over the past two seasons. Howard was a first-round draft pick in 2017 out of the University of Alabama.
The veteran wide receiver was released Tuesday after catching one pass in the preseason. Gordon played in 12 games for Kansas City in 2021, catching five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. The veteran wide receiver, of course, exploded onto the scene in 2013 when he had 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns as a second-year player. From there, though, he was suspended several times for violations of the league’s policy on substance abuse and his best statistical season came in 2018 when he caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three scores in New England. Gordon tweeted 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 back rushed for 900-plus yards in each of his first two professional seasons with the New England Patriots in 2018 and 2019 to go along with 13 total rushing touchdowns. The Dolphins, though, will instead head into the regular season with a backfield headed by Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert.
Treadwell, a former first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, was released Monday after catching 33 passes for 434 yards in 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. Perhaps another team will think they can get more out of him this fall.
A first-round pick of Detroit in 2017, Davis had spent four out of his five professional seasons with the Lions before being cut Monday. He started 41 games for the franchise over his first three seasons out of the University of Florida. But he had then just nine in 23 appearances over the past two seasons – 2020 with the New York Jets and last year back in 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 rookie sixth-round pick Malcolm Rodriguez.
A pair of veteran punters hit the market on Monday when the Broncos and Titans released Martin and Kern, respectively.
Martin has appeared in 139 career games, the past two seasons’ worth in Denver, but keeping Corliss Waitman over 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 went on to punt for the Titans for more than 12 seasons. He lost a camp battle to rookie Ryan Stonehouse out of Colorado State.
A former undrafted free agent, Guidry played in all 17 games for the Jets last year, including three starts. He has appeared in 28 contests over his first two seasons in the NFL. In 2020, he forced four fumbles and last year he recorded 48 total tackles.