As NFL teams cut their active rosters down to the league’s 53-man regular-season limit, a plethora of players—some of whom are prominent names and have displayed talent at football’s highest level, such as quarterback Terrelle Pryor and cornerback Champ Bailey—became unemployed.
Players who are seemingly set to play a role for their teams one week can find themselves released the next, as all 32 NFL franchises are forced to make tough decisions on whom to keep and whom to let go.
Being cut this week doesn’t necessarily mean that a player won’t play in the NFL this year—once released, he can be signed by another team—but it’s a time when talented athletes can be left searching for a new job.
Each of the following was either a significant contributor for his team in previous years, a player in whom the team made a significant investment and/or a player who stood out this preseason. All of these players were expected to be contributors for the teams they were with, but are instead among the most notable and/or unexpected names handed a pink slip this week.