NFL Cuts 2013: Talented Players Who Will Find a New Home
The worst part of the 2013 NFL season is the cuts teams must make to get down to a certain roster number. Despite being let go by a franchise, this isn’t the end of the road for many talented players, though.
Organizations must get down to a 53-man roster by Saturday, and situations sometimes call for skilled athletes to be released. One team’s misfortune is another team’s good luck.
All of the following players have been cut, but will find a spot on another roster soon.
Brian Banks, LB
One of the best stories this preseason was the inspirational journey of linebacker Brian Banks and his return to the NFL after spending five years in prison. Banks was falsely accused of rape and has been given a chance at redemption.
While the Atlanta Falcons felt they couldn’t use him on their 53-man roster, per Fox’s Gay Glazer, that doesn’t mean one of the other franchises in the league won’t look to add the inspirational player.
There is no question that Banks would have a hard time as a starting linebacker or even a backup in the NFL right now, but with an unwavering attitude and work ethic, a role with special teams somewhere would fit the player perfectly.
Matt Leinart, QB
There will be a contingent of fans and experts, namely NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who claim getting cut from the Buffalo Bills could be Matt Leinart’s last chance in the NFL, but that is an overdramatization of the situation.
While it is clear that Leinart doesn’t have what it takes to carry a franchise on his own, he has been a solid backup quarterback who can play well when needed. While it may not have worked in Buffalo, the Bills signed him last Sunday and he never had a chance to learn the system.
As injuries begin to mount across the NFL and teams begin looking for reliable quarterback depth, Leinart’s name will come up once again. In the right system and the time to learn the terminology, he can be a valuable second-string player.
Jake Ballard, TE
The New England Patriots love the tight end position, but it was clear from Day 1 that Jake Ballard would not be an ideal fit. Add in a knee injury that has kept him off the field for over a year, and the team has cut ties, per Shalise Manza Young and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
As long as Ballard continues to focus on getting healthy and back on the field, there will be several teams that come calling for the 6’6” dual-threat tight end (who plays well in the passing game and blocking against the run) as injuries and trades occur.
Ballard showed his pass-catching ability with the New York Giants on the road to the Super Bowl XLVI, but the key will be the health of his knee. If he shows patience with the ACL recovery, he can return to play in the NFL once again.
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