NFL Roster Cuts: 4 Teams Who Went Too Far
NFL teams are required to cut down to a 53-man roster limit before the season begins, and it seems that every year teams find it challenging to reach that final number. Occasionally, teams have to cut players that have not worked out or that just do not fit there schemes anymore, but some teams take that luxury too far.
Sometimes proven veterans who have subpar preseasons get cut for unproven rookies, which can be a colossal mistake, especially when a lockout was present for most of the offseason.
There were several prominent cuts before Saturdays's deadline, but here are four teams that went too far during roster cuts.
4. Tennessee Titans
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Notable cuts: Justin Gage, Jacob Ford, Vincent Fuller.
Justin Gage was an expected release by many experts, but when a team is already thin at receiver, it may not be a smart move. Gage's reception totals have declined in each of his four seasons with the Titans. The receiver was limited to 11 games last season, making just 20 catches for 266 yards.
Jacob Ford was a sixth-round pick by the Titans in 2007. In four seasons with the team, he has collected 15.5 sacks but had just three last season. Ford's cut comes at a time when the Titans are hurting at defensive end, which made the move surprising.
Vincent Fuller took a pay cut to boost his chances, but the Titans decided on keeping safety Anthony Smith, a five-year veteran who was signed during training camp.
3. Chicago Bears
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Notable cuts: Tommie Harris, Marcus Harrison, Desmond Clark, Chester Taylor
The Chester Taylor experiment proved to be a fail. The back—who just last season signed a four-year, $12.5 million deal, with $7 million guaranteed—was limited to just 16 carries during the preseason and never got the ball rolling. Marion Barber's play during the preseason also contributed to Taylor being cut.
Playing time and productivity were the main cause for the former-Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris to be cut. The Bears are a team that covets veterans, but Harris did not show enough for them to let him stick around. Harris did sign with the Indianapolis Colts, but was then released at the end of the preseason.
2. New England Patriots
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Notable cuts: Brandon Meriweather, Brandon Tate, Sammy Morris
The New England Patriots cut ties with safety Brandon Meriweather after two consecutive Pro Bowl seasons. Many New England fans realize that he did not play up to that Pro Bowl potential, but with Sergio Brown and Patrick Chung being the projected starters right now, there could be some worrying going on for Patriots fans right now.
Brandon Tate excelled for the Patriots as a returner but never made an impact as a receiver, so when the NFL changed its kickoff rules Brandon Tate's job began to be in question. Tate is regarded as a bust to some because he was drafted one spot ahead of Mike Wallace during the 2009 NFL draft. However, that did not stop Tate from finding work with the Cincinnati Bengals a few days later.
Long-time Patriot Sammy Morris was a victim to the running back carousel in New England. Rookies Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley played well, and the Pats already have BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead making the cut of Sammy Morris inevitable.
1. Miami Dolphins
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Notable cuts: Larry Johnson, Lousaka Polite, Will Allen, Nate Ness
Lousaka Polite has been an integral piece in short-yardage situations for the Miami Dolphins over the past three seasons. The Dolphins have rookie H-back Charles Clay, but the rookie has yet to play in a regular-season game, which means the team is investing a lot of marbles to his potential.
Veteran running back Larry Johnson's tenure did not last long in Miami which is somewhat surprising. Johnson would have provided a veteran mindset for rookie Daniel Thomas to learn from, but the Fins decided to go in another direction.
Will Allen was also cut. The defensive back had not yet won over the nickel corner spot over Benny Sapp, which forced the Dolphins to cut him because he could not justify his salary.