Ten NFL Players Squarely on the Roster Bubble

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Ten NFL Players Squarely on the Roster Bubble
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On Sunday, I began writing this article about NFL players who are in danger of being cut.

I had no idea it was going to be so time sensitive.

Two of these players can be taken off my list already. Antonio Bryant and Laveranues Coles have already been released by their respective teams as of Sunday afternoon.

Bryant has been plagued by a slowly recovering knee ever since signing his contract with Cincinnati. Don’t feel too sorry for him, though. He’ll pick up a cool $8 million from the Bengals without every playing a down.

Word is Bryant is still rehabbing hard in an effort to sign with someone later. In a dynasty league, I still wouldn’t bother keeping him around.

Coles’s career may very well be over.

He could re-sign with the Jets later on, but he’s already come out on record saying he’s likely done. If so, he ends his 10-year career with 8,609 yards, and 49 touchdowns. Those are pretty good stats to share with the grandkids.

Unfortunately, Coles and Bryant are just two of the many players who will be visited by the Turk in the next couple of weeks.

Here’s a list of ten players losing sleep right now, hoping they make their team’s final roster.

It’s far from a guarantee for any of them right now.

1. Derrick Ward, RB, TB

Ward has been a bust since leaving the Giants for the Bucs.

Most pundits believed he would take over the starting role for Tampa Bay and flourish. Instead, Cadillac Williams has held him off and made him a very expensive role player.

He’s been severely outplayed by DLF favorite Kareem Huggins this offseason, so his spot is far from safe right now.

2. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, PIT

The long, strange trip of Jonathan Dwyer continues.

At one point, Dwyer was considered a lock to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. The Steelers ended up getting him in the sixth after some lackluster workouts and a poor showing at the combine.

So far, he’s looked the part of a sixth-round pick.

A really good game against some second-string Bronco players has helped, but is it too little too late?

The Steelers are going to be left with an interesting decision to make in the next week or so. They could cut him and hope to get him on the practice squad.

Unbelievably, it’s conceivable they could just cut him outright and choose to sever ties altogether. It’s unlikely after his performance against Denver, but he’s still been outplayed by Isaac Redman this preseason.

Crazy.

3. James Hardy, WR, BUF

Hardy was supposed to be the future No. 1 in Buffalo. Right now, he can’t even hold on to a spot as the No. 6.

Injuries have obviously hurt this former Hoosier, but his demise is disappointing nonetheless.

He’s likely not going to find a spot on the 53-man roster.

4. Larry Johnson, RB, WAS

Johnson may have saved himself with a decent game the other night. His 42 yards on 9 carries weren’t incredible, but they weren’t awful either. He also added a 15-yard touchdown reception.

Fact is, Johnson is just not the same player he once was.

He may have found a role in Washington as a backup to Clinton Portis, but Mike Shanahan is just as likely to keep Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams over LJ.

5. Joe McKnight, RB, NYJ

McKnight’s camp experience has been a total nightmare thus far.

He showed up out of shape and unprepared. Sadly, that’s been a highlight for him.

His preseason performances thus far have been putrid. He’s carried the ball 29 times for just 69 yards, and has two lost fumbles.

The Jets would love to show some patience with their young runner, but may not have the luxury. It’s going to be awful tough to keep McKnight on the roster for a team who has Super Bowl aspirations.

6. Matt Leinart, QB, ARI

Of all the players on this list, Leinart has the best chance to be traded instead of cut. Regardless, he’s squarely on the bubble.

If you still believe the Cardinals have faith in him as their future quarterback, I think you’re crazy. This week’s preseason game was billed as a showcase for both Leinart and Anderson, but this is Anderson’s job to lose.

Factor in the Cardinals' affection for two young quarterbacks, and it’s tough to see Leinart on the opening day roster.

Perhaps the Seahawks and Pete Carroll will give him a second chance via trade.

7. Willie Parker, RB, WAS

While Larry Johnson may have played his way into the Redskins' backfield this week, Parker likely played his way out of it.

Parker gained just 16 yards on 8 carries this week. That’s a far cry from the production we’ve come to expect from FWP.

It’s really tough to see a future for Parker in or out of Washington. He’s lost his speed and that was always his greatest asset.

8. Javon Walker, WR, MIN

Many dynasty league players jumped on Walker when he signed with Minnesota. We were a little more hesitant.

The addition of Greg Camarillo is going to push Walker down the depth chart even more.

I just don’t see him making this team.

9. Michael Clayton, WR, TB

The trials and tribulations of Michael Clayton have been well chronicled from DLF over the years.

Clayton is one of the biggest fantasy football disappointments of the last decade.  After an extremely promising start in his 2004 rookie season when he had 80 catches, 1,193 yards, and seven touchdowns. The rest of his career has featured 141 catches, 1,743 yards, and three touchdowns combined in the last five seasons.

His contract is guaranteed no matter what the Bucs do. Can they really justify cutting someone else over Clayton, though?

 

10. Colt McCoy, QB, CLE

With all the rumbling about McCoy possibly being placed on waivers soon, I figured he should be on the list.

I’ll say this, though. I would be shocked to see the Browns cut ties with him after just one training camp. Yes, he’s looked pretty bad in preseason action, but he’s a work in progress.

I really think the more likely scenario is McCoy suddenly being diagnosed with some type of injury that lands him on injured reserve for the year.

My connections are certainly not in Cleveland, so I guess McCoy should be a little nervous.

We’ll know soon enough with all these players.

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For the complete set of strategic 2010 dynasty rankings, click below:

Strategic Quarterback Rankings
Strategic Running Back Rankings
Strategic Wide Receiver Rankings
Strategic Tight End Rankings
Strategic IDP Rankings

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