The NFL is now in its most brutal portion of the schedule when hundreds of players lose their jobs until at least next offseason when rosters expand once again.
NFL front offices are ultimately tasked with trimming a roster from 90 players all the way down to 53—not counting injured reserve lists.
The NFL has already finished one stage of the cut process when teams were tasked with trimming the fat off the roster, bringing the total number from 90 down to 75.
Some of the unfortunate players to lose their jobs will wind up finding new homes and making the final 53. Whether they lost their initial job because of circumstance, schematics or injuries, the following players are not going to be out of a job long.
Note: All cut info courtesy of CBS.
Havard Rugland, K
We'd say this is a start with a boring position, but that would be a lie thanks to Havard Rugland's impressive nickname, Kickalicious.
Fans should know Rugland from him stellar Youtube video that went viral. Rugland had never played football before 2012 but earned tryout with the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions, the latter of which signed him to a contract.
It did not take long for Rugland to adapt to the game as he was excellent on kickoffs and went 3-for-3 on field goals.
Unfortunately for Rugland, the Lions elected to pick up veteran kicker David Akers and subsequently gave Rugland the boot. Not to worry, Kickalicious will be back with another team soon because of his immense potential and leg strength from a distance.
Tom Zbikowski, S
Safety is arguably one of the worst positions in the NFL as the league attempts to catch up with the high-flying passing attacks.
Tom Zbikowski made his debut in the NFL back in 2008 with the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, he has bounced around the league and acted as a quality backup with Indianapolis last season. This preseason, he tumbled down a semi-deep depth chart in Chicago and was cut.
He has appeared in 69 total games so far and notched a total 126 tackles and three interceptions.
In today's NFL, depth is key in the defensive secondary. Zbikowski won't last on the open market thanks to his nice showing as a depth option and his quality special teams play.
Joe McKnight, RB
There is always room in the NFL for elite special teams players who can change the tide of a game with one return, or at the very least contribute heavily in winning the battle of field position.
One of the victims in the cut down to 75 was former New York Jets running back Joe McKnight.
McKnight flashed as a runner in limited opportunities with the Jets over the past three seasons, averaging 4.5 yards per carry as a change-of-pace option. Where he truly shined was on kick returns, amassing over 2,000 yards and two touchdowns the past two seasons.
A team with lackluster return men will scoop up McKnight in a hurry if he can prove he is healthy after dealing with a concussion for most of camp.
Da'Rick Rogers, WR
This may sound like be a bit of a reach, but former Buffalo Bills receiver Da'Rick Rogers is just oozing talent after going undrafted this year.
If there is one thing NFL fans should have learned this offseason, it's that teams are willing to take a risk on a player with high upside.
Coming out of Tennessee Tech, Rogers was one of the most heralded receivers in the draft but had his issues with maturity during Bills' camp, according to coach Doug Marrone, per Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News:
You see a lot of potential up there where he can go ahead and make plays and beat people...Sometimes you see him whether he’s getting down a little bit or feeling sorry for himself, whatever it may be, then you don’t see that consistency in him. It’s a little bit up and down. We just have to get it to where he’s constantly going up, and he should be a fine player.
Even Rogers' own former coach thinks he has plenty of potential to be something in the league when he can get his act together. This could be that wake-up call for Rogers, and it only takes one head coach thinking he can right the ship to bring on a large talent.
Fans have yet to see the last of Rogers in the NFL.
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