Each NFL roster is currently comprised of 90 or less players. By August 31, each team will need to cut their roster down to 53, creating inevitable and numerous camp cuts.
As America’s diet for the NFL has increased over the past decade, the roster cut-down deadline has become yet another NFL event. The process is dramatized on HBO’s Hard Knocks, and it is arguably the greatest intrigue of the show. The once anonymous names that land on transaction reports were given a face, personality and background, as the heartbreak of the players transplants directly through the screen to the audience.
By result, NFL fans now follow the positional battles throughout the offseason much more closely, especially once training camp springs into gear.
The process of cutting a roster down to 53 players consists of endless hours of debate and evaluation by the coaching staff. Salaries, potential, playing time, depth, work ethic and intangibles are all considered in the team’s decisions.
Ultimately, some teams will have to release competent players, and a few will land on their feet by ending up with other teams shortly after their release. In 2010, Danny Woodhead was cut by the New York Jets, only to be signed days later by rival New England. Woodhead would go on to become a valued contributor over the next three seasons for the Patriots, and a thorn in the side of the Jets organization.
Certainly, this summer will bring even more notable cuts. Let’s take a glance into the future and predict which player will be each team’s best camp cut this year.