2010 NFL Predictions: Ten Players on the AFC East Roster Bubble
Most NFL rosters are currently upwards of 80 men, and need to be whittled down to 53 by the end of August.
Inevitably, someone's going to get the axe.
This being an uncapped year, no one is safe. If you underperform, have a history of injuries, or just aren't a fit, you could be the next one gone.
Here's a list of ten players in the AFC East that could be saying goodbye to their teammates before the start of the season.
A highly-touted, third-round selection in 2008, Shawn Crable came to an organization that featured veterans at outside linebacker. He spent the first two seasons of his career banged up, and is coming back to a team that is looking for him to step in smoothly.
This could be a make-or-break year for Crable, if he even makes it past training camp and onto the field.
Much like Crable, Wheatley has been injured for much of the first two years of his career. He hasn't exactly had much of a chance to show his stuff, but that may be part of the problem.
The Patriots currently have a lot of depth at cornerback, and there may barely be enough room for Wheatley on the roster.
Fragile Fred spent most of last year off the field and on the injured list.
New England has a loaded stable of running backs that includes much younger options in Laurence Maroney and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Even Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris are younger and less injury prone than Taylor.
My feeling is that Taylor’s time may be close to up.
Through legal trouble and ineffective play, the Buffalo Bills have stuck by Lynch’s side. Now, with three highly-capable backs seemingly ahead of him—C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, and Chad Simpson—Buffalo’s patience could be wearing thin.
Add to that Chan Gailey’s comments that Lynch doesn’t seem to be studying the playbook, and the former first-rounders time could be running short.
The 2006 second-round selection showed potential in his first year, taking three of his 13 receptions for touchdowns, but has hauled in one reception since then.
Jackson spent 2009 on the practice squad, and although there aren’t many receivers on the roster who could be considered better options at this point, you’d better believe those roster spots at receiver won’t be given up without a fight.
In an uncapped year, teams don't have to worry so much about cutting their high-priced players because that money won't count against their salary cap.
After Jairus Byrd's nine interception outing in '09, Whitner may be on his way out in Buffalo.
Perhaps if Turner could get off the line of scrimmage, he’d make an effective wide receiver. He failed to tally a reception, while Brian Hartline—drafted a round later than Turner—made a good impact in his rookie year.
Turner has problems creating separation, though, and can’t break through in a receiving corps that features four locks to start.
Unfortunately, there’s no roster spot for Wildcat specialists (yet). Tony Sparano has made it clear, too, that White needs to prove he can be a quarterback at this level, or a position change may be in his future.
The only problem is that the receiving corps is mostly figured out. White needs to make a huge impression as a quarterback or prove that his versatility as a Wildcat player makes him worth a roster spot as a receiver.
In 2007, Clemens had an opportunity to set himself as the starter in New York. He didn't do a whole lot to win the job, and the Jets went after Brett Favre that year in a trade. When Favre retired (again), it appeared as though Clemens' time had come, and then the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick.
Unproven backups are often considered dead weight, and with guys like Eric Ainge and Kevin O'Connell waiting in the wings, Clemens' time could be up.
Two seasons have passed, and Gholston still has no sacks or interceptions. Not even Rex Ryan could get anything out of him last year, so Gholston must be reaching the end of his rope.
After generating a ton of buzz during his 2008 Scouting Combine performance, Gholston looks more like a workout warrior, and appears to be on the fast track to bustville.