NFL Cuts 2013: Most Notable Moves from Around the League Thus Far
With Saturday's deadline to trim NFL rosters down to 53 players looming, players are dropping like flies throughout the league.
Some notable names, including a man who spent five years in prison on false accusations and a former USC quarterback, have recently been cut.
Here's a look at the most notable cuts in the NFL so far.
Jake Ballard, TE
Tight end Jake Ballard was released by the New England Patriots on Friday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
The #Patriots have also released TE Jake Ballard, formerly of the Giants, I'm told.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2013
Ballard, who went undrafted out of Ohio State in 2010, caught 38 balls for 604 yards and four touchdowns in 2011 with the New York Giants.
But the 25-year-old tore his ACL in his left knee in Super Bowl XLVI, missing the entire 2012 season because of it.
Ballard was hoping to make the team this offseason primarily as a blocker, but the promising status of Rob Gronkowski appears to have pushed him out the door.
It's been a rough road for Ballard since Super Bowl XLVI. He appears to have lost some speed because of the injury, which probably had some part in the Patriots cutting him.
J'Marcus Webb, OT
I'm going to spare you jokes about the Chicago Bears cutting offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb on Friday, primarily because pretty much every joke in the book has been uttered about the 25-year-old.
Good bye, Chicago! I gave you 3 years of me.— J'Marcus Webb (@jmarcuswebb) August 30, 2013
Heck, when Webb confirmed he was released on Friday, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote, "It's a good sign for the young Bears offensive line."
A little harsh, but you get the picture.
Safe to say, Webb did not fare very well in his 44 starts at left tackle for the Bears over the past three seasons. He often drew the ire of Chicago, as well as Jay Cutler.
One phrase to sum up Chicago's general response to Webb's release?
"Don't let the door hit you on the way out."
Rosenthal points to the Oakland Raiders as a possible landing spot for Webb.
Matt Leinart, QB
Does this signify the end of Matt Leinart's career in the NFL?
After a dismal game against the Detroit Lions on Thursday (3-of-10, 11 yards, two interceptions), Leinart confirmed on Twitter on Friday that he was released, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com.
Leinart reportedly wrote before deleting the tweet: "Tough game. Tough situation. No excuses. (Thank) you to the Bills organization!"
No one knows why Leinart decided to delete the tweet. Perhaps he was still confused after his game against the Lions.
In any case, this may ultimately signal the end of Leinart's career in the NFL. The No. 10 overall pick of the 2006 draft has completed 57 percent of his passes for 6.34 yards per pass attempt while tossing 15 touchdowns to 21 interceptions in his six-year NFL career. He played his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, then had one-year stints with the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders.
Brian Banks, LB
Linebacker Brian Banks, who was attempting to make the pros after spending five years in prison and five more years on probation on false rape accusations, was cut by the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, according to Jay Glazer.
Banks, who was tabbed as one of Rival.com's "Juniors to Watch" while attending Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 2002, played on the same high school team as DeSean Jackson and Marcedes Lewis.
It's worth noting that Banks could still make the Falcons' practice squad this season.
If nothing else, Falcons owner Arthur Blank appears prepared to offer Banks a job in some capacity with the organization, according to Glazer.
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