It happens to just about every player at some point in their career. They find themselves on the outside looking in, fighting to keep a roster spot.
Age and injuries take a toll, and a player who once was a lock no matter what now becomes an expendable commodity because of younger, faster players.
The business end of the NFL can be a cruel mistress, but the reality every player must face one day is there will be an end to their career, or at least an end to their time on a given roster.
Cutdown to 75 players is Aug. 31, with the cutdown to 53 players not much longer after that. Time is not a marginal player's friend at this point.
Dolphins Featured Columnist Robert Hoffman did a comprehensive look at this situation earlier this summer here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/422238-burst-the-35-notable-nfl-players-on-the-roster-bubble .
We'll update some of the players on that list and see what names have dropped off and been added since then.
After boycotting the offseason program, failing to pass the team's physical fitness test several times, and then attacking Head Coach Mike Shanahan this week while threatening to boycott the offseason program next year, it's a miracle Haynesworth still is on the Redskins roster.
The fact is the Redskins already have paid him his roster bonus for the season, but if he doesn't change his tune soon, the Redskins might decide to cut their losses and cut him, even if it means losing a truckload of money.
The Redskins might also decide to sue for some of that money back, but that's a tangled legal process that has no good answer and would be a longshot at best.
Ward did not have a good season in 2009, and so far this preseason, he has not done much to impress the coaches.
Ward signed a four-year, $16 million deal before last season and he's not living up to his contract. Despite there being no salary cap this year, Kareem Huggins is a much younger and cheaper option for the Buccaneers.
This one's for the Browns fans.
Davis is a second-year pro who was injured the first week of the 2009 season after having a very impressive preseason.
However, the Browns backfield now is crowded with Jerome Harrison, Montario Hardesty, and Chris Jennings ahead of him, in addition to fullback Peyton Hillis dominating the preseason game versus the St. Louis Rams.
Davis's only hope is Harrison's uneven play is enough that if Hardesty recovers from his knee injury, the Browns decide to go with Davis's youth over Harrison's experience, which is a possibility since the front office never has shown a willingness to commit to Harrison.
Davis was low on the depth chart going into training camp, and now he apparently is suffering from a tailbone injury and will miss more practice.
Davis is getting too old to be missing any practices in the youth-oriented NFL.
Nelson is being given every opportunity by the Jaguars coaching staff to succeed. The onus is on Nelson to reward them for their faith.
Nelson has underperformed, and while the Jaguars say publicly they fully support him, leaving him in during the fourth quarter of a preseason game says more about where he stands on the team than any public declaration.
Quinn was brought over to back up Kyle Orton, but then they drafted Tim Tebow. No matter what, Tebow makes this roster.
Quinn's inconsistent passing has continued throughout the preseason, so now the question is whether the Broncos feel he can even be their third quarterback should Tebow be deemed Orton's backup, or if he even wants the job as official clipboard holder.
Turner has a long way to go to make the Dolphins roster after barely dressing in 2009.
If the coaches don't have enough confidence to play him in the preseason, which he hasn't done much of, then they will have no problem cutting him when push comes to shove.
The career backup to the Manning Family, Sorgi suffered what may have been a tear in his shoulder this past week.
Sorgi's few appearances in Indianapolis backing up Peyton Manning weren't spectacular by any means, and if the shoulder is as bad as feared, the Giants may just elect to move on rather than put him on the injury reserve list.
White has suffered two concussions in two years and didn't take a snap in the Dolphins first preseason game.
Considering how far down the depth chart he is, White may be hanging around the Dolphins as insurance at this point, which would mean an end to his time on the active roster before the beginning of the season.
Devries has missed most of training camp with an injury and the Lions just traded for Lawrence Jackson.
If Devries's career with Detroit is over, it won't come as a surprise, but it still will be a sad day for Devries, who missed all of the 2009 season with an Achilles tear.
Simpson and Quan Cosby are in a fight for the last wide receiver roster spot for the Bengals.
Both have played decently in the preseason so far, so this battle should come down the wire.
Carpenter, a former first-round pick, was traded to St. Louis from Dallas, and still hasn't been noticed.
If this trend continues, Carpenter could become the answer to a trivia question if he's lucky.
With the injury to Ben Tate, Slaton should be a lock for the Texans' roster, but if he keeps fumbling, don't rule out a late preseason trade.
Slaton has to hold onto the ball, or he's done, it's just the way things are in the NFL.
Abiamiri is missing time with more injuries and therefore missing opportunities to prove to the coaches he belongs on the Eagles roster.
Huff has never lived up to his potential, or his draft slot, and allowing Bears running back Matt Forte to dance around him for an 89-yard touchdown this week will not help his cause should the Raiders decide to keep overhauling their defense.
All Patrick Crayton has done this preseason is show the Cowboys why he belongs on their roster.
All Fred Taylor has done is show why age is just a number, and all Vernon Gholston has done is impress the Jets coaches by shifting back to his natural position.
Donte Whitner also has impressed Chan Gailey in Buffalo and looks like a lock to make the team.
Clinton Portis also has proved he can still start in the NFL so far this preseason, as has Osi Umenyiora.